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Former Arsenal Player Jens Lehmann Fired by Hertha Berlin After Racist Text Message

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

Frederic Scheidemann/Getty Images

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was fired from his role on the Hertha Berlin supervisory board after former Germany international Dennis Aogo posted a racist message he'd received from Lehmann on social media.

ESPN's Stephan Uersfeld reported Lehmann sent Aogo a WhatsApp message that read "Is Dennis actually your Quotenschwarzer?" which is German for "token Black person."

Lehmann apologized in a statement posted to Twitter in which he credited Aogo as a "former international who has a lot of expertise, a great aura and helps Sky to strong ratings." The former Hamburg left back now works as a commentator for Sky Germany.

Tennor Holding, Hertha Berlin's investment group, released a statement to German outlet Die Welt saying Lehmann would no longer work with the club, per Uersfeld.

"Jens Lehmann's contract will be terminated with immediate effect. This also means that his mandate on the supervisory board will no longer apply," a spokesperson said. "We personally regret this, but it is not compatible with the principles of Tennor and [investor] Lars Windhorst. Especially against the background that we have many people of colour as employees."

Hertha Berlin Club President Werner Gegenbauer said he agreed with the group's decision, according to BBC Sport.

"Such statements are in no way representative of the values that Hertha BSC stands for," Gegenbauer said. "We distance ourselves from all forms of racism and welcome the action taken by Tennor Holding."

Lehmann played for Arsenal, Schalke, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart during a playing career that spanned from 1987 through 2011. He also made 61 international appearances for Germany. Lehmann most recently served as an assistant coach for Augsburg in 2019 before taking the position with Hertha Berlin in 2020.

Aogo, who made 12 appearances for Germany, had spells at Hamburg, Freiburg, Schalke, Stuttgart and Hannover 96 from 2004 until his retirement last August.

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