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Organization that supports British soccer managers sorry for appearing to trivialize racism

FILE - This is a Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo of the then Cardiff City's manager Malky Mackay as he looks on from the dugout before the start of their English Premier League soccer match against West Ham United at Upton Park, London.

Sang Tan/AP

The organization that represents British soccer managers apologized Friday for releasing a clumsily worded statement in support of a coach which appeared to trivialize racism.

The League Managers Association confirmed Thursday that former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay sent text messages to a colleague at the Welsh club that were "disrespectful of other cultures."

But the LMA provoked outrage by adding that the exchanges occurred during "friendly text-message banter" and that Mackay was just "letting off steam to a friend."

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"The LMA apologizes for some of its wording ... which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialize matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature," the organization said in a second statement. "That was certainly not our intention.

"It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable."

Cardiff reacted hours later, saying the club found it "entirely reprehensible that the LMA should itself put out a statement which seeks to dismiss deeply offensive racist comments as 'friendly banter.'"

Cardiff called for the resignation of the LMA's chief executive, Richard Bevan, saying his position is "untenable."

The text-message controversy involving Mackay and Iain Moody, a former colleague at Cardiff, is being investigated by the English Football Association.

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