Alan Sugar branded “racist” after posting tweet mocking African World Cup team
Alan Sugar has come under fire for posting a ‘racist’ tweet about the Senegal World Cup team that compares the players to individuals – specifically of African descent – selling sunglasses and handbags on beaches.
Lord Sugar, 71, tweeted: “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multitasking, resourceful chaps,” accompanied by a photoshopped image of the national team which appeared to show them standing over and selling counterfeit goods.
After many of his followers and fellow Twitter users criticised Sugar’s post as being racist, the peer retorted: “Why not it is meant to be funny … for god sake” and “I cant see what I have to apologise for … you are OTT … its a bloody joke.”
He then went on to delete the tweet following wider condemnation, but didn’t seem to agree it was problematic.
“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 can’t see that, I think it’s funny. But I will pull it down if you insist.”
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
Over an hour later, Sugar returned to the social media platform to issue a further apology, writing:
“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.”
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. If you really don’t see what’s wrong with what you’ve written, you have a lot to learn still. You should know better! pic.twitter.com/T4W44Cx83s
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) June 20, 2018
Osasu Obayiuwana, the British-Nigerian associate editor of New African magazine, responded to Lord Sugar’s tweets: “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. If you really don’t see what’s wrong with what you’ve written, you have a lot to learn still. You should know better!”
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) June 20, 2018
In a statement on Twitter, the BBC’s press office stated: “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.”
Twitter hasn’t responded as well, with some comparing him to his US counterpart Donald Trump, who went from presenting The Apprentice to becoming President, despite his extreme racially inflammatory views.
Others mocked his current autobiography, titled ‘What You See Is What You Get’:
if you're the One Black Friend Omarosa in Alan Sugar's life, unfortunately you'll need to explain this one to him face to face. Cos he 'frankly thought it was funny' two hours ago pic.twitter.com/N8J6VE3VRy
— Tshepo Mokoena (@tnm___) June 20, 2018
You think Alan Sugar’s career is over. I think he’ll be prime minister within three years.
— Jonathan Liew (@jonathanliew) June 20, 2018
Alan Sugar, who kept saying Jeremy Corbyn not doing enough on anti-Semitism, just tweeted this racist tweet and deleted it. The guy is disgraceful and should be expelled from House of Lords for racism. pic.twitter.com/nfs7sAsY6a
— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) June 20, 2018
Can't wait to hear Alan Sugar's explanation, but this is just confirmation of what we all knew: privileged, out of touch, hugely racist white man who shouldn't be on TV any more pic.twitter.com/NYYMgeIQDe
— Andrew Cesare (@acrcalcio) June 20, 2018
New to the 2018 Oxford English Dictionary – Doing an 'Alan Sugar'.
This is where you manage to fuck everything up in one tweet.
— Joe McGrath (@joemcgrath95) June 20, 2018
— speed then mosey (@insouciiant) June 20, 2018
Alan Sugar currently scatter-gunning his output to move past THAT TWEET and the results are a mixed bag. pic.twitter.com/mdQTf0HbOi
— Rob Joyce (@RobJoyce156) June 20, 2018
Lord Sugar’s Twitter page has 5.47 million followers, many of whom recognise the business entrepreneur from popular television series The Apprentice. The billionaire is also a political adviser, former chairman of Tottenham Hotspur and a media personality.
Senegal’s team includes a number of Premier League stars including Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Everton’s Idrissa Gueye. They squad beat Poland 2-1 in their World Cup opener on Tuesday.