The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar has issued a belated apology after coming under fire for his “offensive” tweet about the Senegalese World Cup football team.
In a now-deleted tweet, the businessman posted an image of Senegalese players (but not actually from Tuesday’s match), with a blanket and rows of sunglasses and handbags photoshopped below it. He wrote: “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi-tasking resourceful chaps.”
There was an immediate backlash…
A shocking, vile tweet that you take a screen grab of because you know it will soon be deleted. pic.twitter.com/28E6SxEva7
— Babita Sharma (@BabitaTV) June 20, 2018
So Lord sugar posted an image of the Senegal football team with a copy and pasted image of random accessories. Basically suggesting that the team is only good for selling really cheap items by the beach in Marbella ????? throw him away pic.twitter.com/UPo3DKLbbD
— i’m good luv (@OhsoDineo) June 20, 2018
It implies that the footballers look like the Marbella beach sunglasses sellers for one reason alone. Their skin colour. If you can’t see how saying “they all look the same to me…” isn’t racist and actually not even slightly funny, then you are being very narrow minded indeed
— Michael W (@walsh_maw19622) June 20, 2018
After around 20 minutes, Lord Sugar tweeted: “Just been reading the reaction to my funny tweet about the guy on the beach in Marbella. Seems it has been interpreted in the wrong way as offensive by a few people. Frankly I cant see that I think it’s funny. But I will pull it down if you insist.”
But after deleting the original, he carried on lashing out at critics. When BBC World News anchor Babita Sharma tweeted: “A shocking, vile tweet that you take a screen grab of because you know it will soon be deleted,” he responded: “If it is so vile why have you retweeted it. You make me sick.”
As his team presumably went into crisis management mode, Lord Sugar deleted his responses – and replaced them with a very different message: “I misjudged me earlier tweet. It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.”
I misjudged me earlier tweet. It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.
— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) June 20, 2018
But not everyone is convinced…
Firstly @Lord_Sugar is constructing this joke on the premise that all black people
1) look alike
2) are poor
3) cannot achieve social mobility
— machine gun Kele (@kelechnekoff) June 20, 2018
Your attempt at humour shows how racist and disjointed your generation is if that was ever deemed acceptable to announce even in a room full of people let alone to your millions of followers.
— Ian McKenzie (@mckianzie) June 20, 2018
A racist "joke" is still racist Lord Sugar.
— Russ (@RussellCroutear) June 20, 2018
In a statement, the BBC said: “Lord Sugar has acknowledged this was a seriously misjudged tweet, and he’s in no doubt about our view on this. It’s right he’s apologised unreservedly.”