Michael Beale responds after clip ‘snubbing’ player prompts backlash from fans

Michael Beale maintains that he did not witness Trai Hume shaking hands following his replacement.

After seemingly turning down his own defender Trai Hume’s offer of a handshake, Sunderland boss Michael Beale has defended himself.

In the 88th minute of Sunderland’s Championship match against Birmingham City, where they were down 2-1, Hume was brought on as a replacement. Hume extended a hand as he passed his manager, but Beale remained focused on the field and did not respond.

The video was extensively circulated on social media, and some Sunderland supporters claimed that Beale was purposefully ignoring his player. One of the above posts has received over 6,000 “likes” on X and is just labeled “awful.”

Over a thousand people liked a response that said, “Pathetic excuse of a ‘Manager’.” Merely motivated by self-glorification, perhaps a dismissal will come soon.

Beale, however, maintained that he had not seen Hume strolling about in his peripheral vision and that as soon as he learned of the event, he went straight to the player to apologize.

“Trai Hume is a fantastic player for our club,” Beale posted on social media. “He gives everything for his teammates and the staff. I wasn’t aware that I missed his handshake until being asked about it post game. I immediately went to see him to apologise.

“Trai passed a fitness test this morning to play the game and I cannot hold him in higher regard as a man or professional. He is an example of everything that is good about a young footballer and our team.”

Beale only joined Sunderland on 18 December, but is already coming under pressure after six defeats in his opening 12 games, including a 3-0 loss at the hands of fierce rivals Newcastle United in the FA Cup. He has earned four wins and two draws in that period, and Sunderland are currently 10th in the Championship table.

Sunderland next play on Saturday when they host struggling Swansea City at the Stadium of Light.

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