Lord Alan Sugar was accused of racism today after uploading an image of the Senegal World Cup squad that likened them to beach sellers.
The 71-year-old Apprentice host sparked fury from his followers by posting the image this morning, before deleting it 23 minutes later – but refused to apologise.
The tweet, posted at 10.39am, included an image of the Senegal squad on the pitch, edited to include handbags and sunglasses laid out on sheets.
Apprentice host Lord Sugar tweeted a picture of the Senegal World Cup team, edited to include handbags and sunglasses laid out on sheets
Lord Sugar wrote above the image: ‘I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi tasking resourceful chaps.’
But the post was then deleted – and Lord Sugar said: ‘Just been reading the reaction to my funny tweet about the guy on the beach in Marbella .
Lord Sugar (pictured in Essex in February 2016) refused to apologise over the tweet
‘Seems it has been interpreted in the wrong way as offensive by a few people. Frankly I can’t see that I think it’s funny. But I will pull it down if you insist.’
He had also tweeted, to a follower who asked when he would apologise: ‘I can’t see what I have to apologise for… you are OTT… it’s a bloody joke.’
The BBC, who broadcast The Apprentice, were preparing a statement today. It is not yet known whether Scotland Yard are investigating the tweet.
Some Twitter followers compared Lord Sugar to Roseanne Barr, the US sitcom star who was dropped by her network after an outcry following a racist tweet.
Meanwhile campaigners were urging the public to complain to the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards over the tweet. Lord Sugar joined the House of Lords in 2009.
Among the 23 players in the World Cup squad for Senegal, who beat Poland 2-1 yesterday, seven are based in England – including five in the Premier League.
They are Idrissa Gueye of Everton, Cheikhou Kouyaté of West Ham United, Alfred N’Diaye of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sadio Mané of Liverpool.
The other two Senegal players based in England are Badou Ndiaye and Mame Biram Diouf, who both play for Stoke City in the Football League Championship.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.