AceShowbiz - Lord Alan Sugar has apologised for posting a tweet in which he compared Senegal's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad to men selling bags and sunglasses on beaches.
The presenter of BBC TV show The Apprentice has been accused of racism after he posted a Photoshopped image featuring the Senegalese soccer team appearing to sell counterfeit goods.
"I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multitasking, resourceful chaps," the caption to the image read.
Several people criticised the businessman's tweet for being racist, to which he responded: "Why not it is meant to be funny" and "I cant see what I have to apologise for ... its a b**ody joke (sic)."
"Dear @Lord_Sugar, I'm afraid no Senegalese or African will see this as funny. What you wrote was hurtful and plays to a racist stereotype," wrote Osasu Obayiuwana, associate editor of New African magazine and a contributor to a BBC soccer show.
Sugar then tweeted he'd taken the image down after the reaction to his "funny tweet" which he said had only caused offence to "a few people".
However, just over an hour after posting the image, the 71-year-old had a change of heart.
"I misjudged me (sic) 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," he wrote.
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.— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) 20 June 2018
The BBC press office echoed his apology on social media, writing, "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."
In 2013, Sugar was investigated by the Merseyside police force after he posted a photograph of a crying Chinese child and joked: "The kid in the middle is upset because he was told off for leaving the production line of the iPhone 5."
The post was classed as a "hate incident" by the force's specialist hate crime investigation team but it decided no crime had taken place.