Ipswich: Town legend and radio star Alan Brazil in trouble again over comments about Robin Williams' death
PUBLISHED: 13:41 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:28 12 August 2014
Former Ipswich Town striker turned radio "Shock Jock" Alan Brazil has prompted new fury after telling listeners to Talksport that he had "No Sympathy" for the apparent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams.
He told listeners to his breakfast show, which also features former Rugby Union international Brian Moore that when he first woke up he thought his wife had said singer Robbie Williams had died before she corrected him.
He said: “It didn’t hit me hard. It would if it had been Robbie, and thank God it wasn’t.”
The two former sports stars then discussed the issue, with Moore trying to explain the seriousness of depression and how devastating suicide can be.
Brazil said: “I believe he’s got a daughter as well and what’s she feeling like this morning? She’s got to sort arrangements out, it’s just shocking, I really do. I don’t have a lot of sympathy, I’m sorry.”
Moore: “I think that’s harsh, Alan.”
Brazil: “Well maybe. But that that’s the way I feel, I’m sorry. I think what you leave behind is diabolical.”
Moore: “Death around depression is an awful matter and I’m very slow to judge people.”
The exchange prompted a furious reaction on Twitter – with many listeners using very strong language to express their disapproval.
One of those that is repeatable said: “Since Alan Brazil has said he has ‘no sympathy’ for Robin Williams I believe he should be sacked that’s an absolutely disgraceful comment.”
Others said they would not listen to the station again while Brazil remained on air.
This is not the first time the former Ipswich, Spurs, and Manchester United star has courted controversy on the subject.
Brazil prompted outrage three years ago when he told listeners: “If I’m being honest, I don’t understand the illness of depression.”
On that occasion he was talking about the depression suffered by cricketer Michael Yardy, adding: “I’m old school and I’m not arguing with a professor and I’m not arguing with Mr Michael Yardy, but sometimes in life you roll your sleeves up.”
The former Scotland international later said: “If it’s an illness, then fine it is. If it is, then I don’t know about it.”
Nesta Reeve, consultant clinical psychologist and clinical lead for wellbeing services at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said Alan Brazil’s comments were “shocking”.
She said: “It highlights a lack of understanding about how hard it is to talk about depression.
“His attitude that people are weak if they are depressed is not helpful. Depression is just the same as a physical health problem. If you had cancer you would not be seen as weak.”
She added: “When you are feeling depressed your thinking is clouded and negative. You only see yourself as a burden to others and don’t see the impact it (killing yourself) has.
“Often these are hyper-sensitive people who feel they are no use to anyone. They believe people will be better off without them and cannot see the loss, sadness and distress they would cause (by taking their life).”
A spokeswoman for the radio station said today: “Talksport would like to apologise for any offence caused. Alan’s comments do not reflect the views of the station as a whole.”