Addison Lee chairman apologises over email comparing deaf footballer to female tennis stars

PUBLISHED: 15:56 08 November 2012

John Griffin at his home in Potters Bar

John Griffin at his home in Potters Bar

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MILLIONAIRE Addison Lee boss John Griffin has apologised for remarks he made in an email about a deaf Potters Bar footballer.

Taxi firm boss Mr Griffin made the comments in an email sent to the Potters Bar Edition where he referred to last week’s front page story about Daniel Ailey, the deaf Potter’s Bar Town striker who was mocked at a game by travelling Grays Athletic supporters.

Mr Ailey who is a former GB deaf team striker, makes what his manager calls a “grunting” noise to attract his teammates’ attention and to let them know he wants the ball.

The email from Mr Griffin, the onetime Secret Millionaire TV star, said: “Do I read it correctly that a deaf footballer makes a grunting sound to attract teammates [sic] attention.

“I long ago gave up watching women’s tennis due to the loud and [un]acceptable level of grunting.

“I note that the police were called and I hope they demanded that the footballer should discontinue making noises that could be misinterpreted by members of the crowd.”

But, following our story, Mr Griffin said yesterday: “I regret any offence caused by my comments.

“This was certainly not my intention and I apologise.”

And a spokeswoman for Addison Lee said: “Our Chairman has apologised for the comments made and for any offence that has been caused.

“Addison Lee is an equal opportunities employer and we are strongly committed to employing disabled people as is demonstrated through our membership of the ‘Two Ticks’ scheme.”

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