Sutton reveals he was attacked as he opens up on abuse of pundits

Chris Sutton reveals he was attacked in a hotel, had a car mount a pavement to drive at him and received a death threat, as he opens up on abuse of pundits on Mail Sport’s It’s All Coming Up after Roy Keane was ‘headbutted’

  • Chris Sutton has opened up on multiple alarming incidents during his career
  • A fan was accused of headbutting Roy Keane at Arsenal on Sunday night 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off!

Chris Sutton has revealed that he has been attacked in a hotel, had a car mount a pavement to drive at him and received a death threat through the post, during his punditry career.

It comes as a fan was accused of ‘headbutting’ Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane during Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United.

This week, the Met Police arrested a 42-year-old man on Monday on suspicion of assault, after footage shared on social media showed Keane’s colleague Micah Richards grappling with someone to restrain them. 

Speaking on ‘It’s All Coming Up’ – little brother of Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ podcast – Sutton opened up on the abuse of pundits while speaking to Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman.  

When asked by Ladyman if he had suffered anything like Keane, Sutton said: ‘Somebody tried to attack me before in a hotel bar. I’ve had a death threat. I’ve had a car mount the pavement and career towards me.

Chris Sutton (right) has revealed that he has been attacked in a hotel bar, had a car drive at him and received death threats during his time as a television pundit after his football career

Sutton said there’s ‘not many options’ when it comes to handling receiving a death threat and he tries to ignore mobs like ones he has encountered on a plane as otherwise ‘they win’

Sutton spoke with Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman about the abuse of pundits after a fan was accused of ‘headbutting’ Sky Sport’s Roy Keane – with a 42-year-old arrested on suspicion of assault

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‘I’ve been abused quite badly. I’d say possibly three times over the years, on an airplane by mobs. There’s not like you can do much about it.

‘I broadcast in a way where I try to be honest, not everyone agrees with my opinion. But I think you’ll know this yourself. As a broadcaster, you have to have thick skin.’

The former Celtic, Blackburn and Chelsea striker revealed that the incidents have happened mainly as a pundit on Scottish football – though England ‘is not exempt’.

He added that things have got worse with the emergence of social media and that there’s ‘not many options’ when it comes to handling receiving a death threat, having a car driven at him on a pavement and receiving abuse on an airplane.  

Sutton told Ladyman: ‘How do you deal with it the death threat? I reported it to the police. With the abuse on an airplane, I just sat through it, took off, got off at the other end. 

‘What can I do If I argue back. If I shout back. Essentially the way I see it and everybody handles things differently, If I bite back then I’ve lost haven’t I? And done exactly what the mob want me to do in terms of getting in a row with people. 

‘So the best thing to do is to ignore and move on.’

Sutton said that the death threat through the post he reported to the police in Scotland and ‘nothing came of it.’

Sutton says he won’t let those incidents make him consider his punditry roles or change his style

Chris Sutton has a strong affiliation with Celtic, Blackburn and Norwich from his playing days but doesn’t let that influence his broadcast style having been critical of all three sides 

When asked by Ladyman if those incidents made him consider his role, or want to change his style in punditry and tone things down, Sutton responded: ‘Not at all in terms of my style. My style is my style. 

‘I mean, the concern for me would be the effect things have on my family. Social media is a really vitriolic place and you know there’ve been certain things which have been posted about my about my dad who you know has dementia which were upsetting, stuff about my daughter.

‘I try and be open and up front. I’m not on Instagram so I post a lot of things on Twitter (now X) and most people I think are nice, decent people who understand what Twitter is and you can have a bit of back and forth. 

‘But it’s society, isn’t it? There’s always that minority of stupid people who spoil it for other people. But in terms of the way I broadcast, I have my style, the style which I think is best. 

‘I try and be open and honest and blunt. I don’t get everything right. Of course, nobody does get everything right. But the most important thing is to say things as I see them. 

‘I have had a playing career, so that affiliation with Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers and Celtic, I have a strong affiliation with those particular clubs. but that doesn’t at all influence the way that I broadcast. I’ve been critical of all three clubs subsequently since I’ve been playing.’

Sutton says things have got worse with social media, despite the majority of users being ‘nice, decent people who he can enjoy back and forth conversations with’

He added: ‘Those were clubs which I had happy memories for. But that part of my career is gone now. I work in the media, and I have an obligation for the people to work as hard as I possibly can for them and give my honest opinion.’

Ladyman also raised the question to Sutton of whether he would ever be filmed while doing commentary on a match.

Celtic legend Sutton revealed that he and Rangers icon Ally McCoist refused to be filmed while doing commentary for a Scottish League Cup final – suggesting they ‘didn’t feel comfortable’.

He said that while the likes of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are ‘excellent broadcasters,’ it can become a bit like ‘club TV’.

Sutton revealed he refused to be filmed during commentary for the Scottish League Cup final, as the likes of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are seen doing on matches

Sutton said: ‘I understand the merits of club TV, but let’s get it right, club TV, with the greatest respect, are like. party political broadcasts, aren’t they?’

He added: ‘Essentially, as a summariser, you’re there to work for your paymasters and to give a balanced view. And that’s the way I see it. And I think it does become about, you know, the camera and the commentary box. 

‘Some people may think that’s okay. I feel slightly uncomfortable doing that. And I suppose the reason, one of the reasons I would feel uncomfortable doing that is because I have an affiliation with Celtic.

‘I mean, this can flip the other way. There may be Celtic fans who think, well, if I’m sitting in a commentary box and a camera’s on me and somebody scores in the Scottish Cup final, the fact I don’t celebrate, that I don’t like the club if you get mad.’

‘It’s All Coming Up’ is the punchy, short and sharp little brother of Mail Sport’s new weekly podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’, featuring Chief Football Writer Ian Ladyman and star columnist Chris Sutton on a heated pre-weekend Zoom chat. 

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