Jens Lehmann, former Arsenal’s goalkeeper, apologized after Hertha Berlin sacked him over the racist message he sent to Dennis Aogo

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Former Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann has apologized to former Schalke 04 midfielder Dennis Aogo for sending a racist Whatsapp message to him on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

Aogo discovered the message on his phone after his punditry on Sky Germany for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final match between Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain.

In the Whatsapp message that earned Jens Lehmann a sack letter, the retired German footballer asked: “Is Dennis actually your token black guy?”

When Dennis Aogo received the message, he decided to share the screenshot of the Whatsapp message on Instagram. In his post, he tagged Jens Lehmann and wrote: “WOW, are you serious? This message wasn’t supposed to go to me I guess.”

Jens Lehmann, former Arsenal's goalkeeper, apologize after Hertha Berlin sacked him over racist message to Dennis Aogo
A screenshot of the WhatsApp message Jens Lehmann sent to Dennis Aogo.

Afterward, Hertha Berlin, the German Bundesliga club where Jens Lehmann was serving as a member of the club’s supervisory board, decided to sack the 51-year-old former Arsenal’s goalkeeper due to the racist message.

In the club’s statement, Hertha Berlin stressed that Lehmann’s message did not represent the values of the club and also stressed that the club is against all forms of racism.

While trying to say his said of the story, Lehmann who played for Arsenal from 2003 to 2008 and was an important figure of the “Invincibles” team who were undefeated throughout the 2003-2004 Premier League season, said he didn’t mean to racially abuse Dennis Aogo.

The German goalkeeper who recorded over 61 caps for his country’s national team before he retired, revealed that he has contacted Aogo via a private call and had apologized to him.

“I have already spoken to Dennis on the phone and asked him to forgive me if my statement came across as disrespectful,” he told German publication BILD on Wednesday. “It was not meant that way at all, but positively. As a Sky expert, he is knowledgeable and very strong in his appearance – and therefore also increases the quota.

“That’s what I meant to say but it was unfortunate of me to put it. Since WhatsApp went out from my phone, I take responsibility for it. It was a private message.”

34-year-old retired football star, Dennis Aogo.
34-year-old retired football star, Dennis Aogo.

On his part, Aogo confirmed that he received a private call from Lehmann and the former Arsenal’s goalkeeper has apologized to him. He noted that he has accepted the apology of his countryman.

“So unfortunately I have to get down to it,” he wrote. “I want to quickly say something about the incident yesterday with Jens Lehmann, that’s to say I want to make a statement on the subject.

“I’ve talked with him on the phone, actually twice already today. I want to say officially here that I accept his apology. I didn’t like what he wrote. I also didn’t like his wording. I also found it somewhat disrespectful as you don’t write a message like that regardless of who it was addressed to.

“Nevertheless I want to say that every person makes mistakes. Every person deserves a second chance.”