Alan Sugar has deleted a tweet about the Senegal national football team which he claimed had been misinterpreted.
Lord Sugar tweeted a picture of the team edited to include handbags and sunglasses laid out on sheets, with the caption: “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi-tasking resourceful chaps.”
The star of the BBC’s The Apprentice, 71, responded to criticism of the post by saying: “I cant see what I have to apologise for …. you are OTT … its a bloody joke.”
He then 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.”
The original tweet has since been deleted.
Quote-tweeting a number of other users who had posted screenshots of the deleted message, Lord Sugar said: “if it so vile why have you retweeted it. You make me sick”.
About an hour later, he issued an apology.
He said: “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.”
A lot of people on social media have condemned Sugar for his ‘racist’ tweet.
@andyl222 tweeted: “It’s like your mad uncle dropping some casual racism at a family dinner. Pure oblivious to the clanger!”
“What a horrible Thing to say? Cannot believe someone in your position can say something like that!” @robbradley01 also wrote.
Echoing the outrage over Sugar’s racism, @hajjitayip wrote: “He’d be quick to jump on someone saying something antisemitic. Guess what, suger its [sic] just as offensive ignorant git.”
On 19 June, Senegal beat Poland 2-1 in their opening match of the World Cup campaign, becoming the first African team to win at this year’s tournament in Russia.