Jay Rodriguez, who came on as a sub after Daniel Sturridge got injured early on, was making his first appearance since being charged by the FA over an incident involving Gaetan Bong in a game against Brighton last month.
The FA said last week that Rodriguez had been charged with using "abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race".
The player denied the allegation on Twitter after the Brighton match and West Brom released a statement saying they would continue to support Rodriguez.
Absolutely gutted and in disbelief at the situation I find myself in. I 100% deny the false allegation and will take the correct legal advice to prove my innocence.— Jay Rodriguez (@JayRodriguez9) February 8, 2018
Rodriguez missed an early opportunity to give his side the lead and West Brom boss Alan Pardew was asked by Sky Sports reporter Patrick Davison after the game if the off-field issues surrounding the 28-year-old were affecting the player.
In quotes recorded by Balls.ie, Davison asked: "Just on one of those big chances, Jay Rodriguez, it seemed like an odd decision to take it so early. Do you think that has anything to do with what's going on off the field, without going into any details particularly?"
Pardew responded by saying: "I think that's really... not a very nice question if I'm honest. I don't think it has anything to do with it if I'm honest.
"It's just the confidence maybe to take an extra and take it nearer the goal but I don't think it has anything to do with that at all. I don't know where you're getting that judgment from, I'm sorry."
Davison pushed Pardew for an answer, asking "I just wondered if the decision-making is affected at all by having a lot going on off the pitch. I don't mean anything untoward about it."
Pardew said he didn't think Rodriguez's decision-making had been affected.
"He probably thought the goalie might not have been set and to take it early was the best option. But in hindsight, he should take a touch in there and bury it. But I can't imagine it's anything to do with that, I'm sorry."
The line of questioning drew criticism from fans on social media, with many agreeing Pardew.
@skysports_PatD Well done Alan Pardew once again the most ridiculous question about Jay Rodriguez.— geoff berry (@gjmberry) February 12, 2018
Idiotic question from Patrick Davison to Pardew regarding Jay Rodriguez #MNF— Collie Watts (@collie_watts3) February 12, 2018
Patrick Davison question about Jay Rodriguez was a nasty one, agree with Pardew there. Totally irrelevant and pushed it too far there #CHEWBA— Steve Wyss (@meatmansoccer) February 12, 2018
Awful questions in the Sky interview with Pardew, a player doesn't miss a chance because of off the field problems. He badly tried to get Rodriguez issue into the interview, went about it badly.— Dan Reeves (@Reevsie247) February 12, 2018
This isn't the first time Davison has made headlines for a post-match interview.
When interviewing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after his sides 1-1 draw with Everton last December, the German manager took some of his frustrations out on Davison.
Everton scored a late penalty which Klopp felt should not have stood. When Davison asked Klopp about it, the manager asked the reporter if he thought it should have been penalty.
Davison said he thought it was soft, but it was a penalty, to which Klopp replied: "Well, then we can stop the interview, because I only want to talk to people who have a little bit of an understanding of football..."
Wow! You've got to watch Jurgen Klopp's FURIOUS post match interview from this afternoon! 😬
Safe to say he did NOT think that was a penalty! 😨 pic.twitter.com/v2O55bbnQN— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) December 10, 2017
Klopp apologised for his outburst later in the interview but was criticised for being rude.
Davison responded on social media that he had "no problem" with it and felt Klopp was merely "angry and upset" having dropped two points.
Thanks for messages (most of them) about Klopp interview. Angry and upset rather than rude or unpleasant I thought. Absolutely no problem with that. Always rather interview a manager who’s honest.— Patrick Davison (@skysports_PatD) December 10, 2017
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