Lord Sugar Sparks Race Row on Twitter After Comparing the Senegal Football Team to Sunglasses Salesmen

Image: BBC

Lord Alan Sugar, the billionaire and business magnate best known for his BBC show The Apprentice has provoked outrage on Twitter after comparing a picture of the Senegalese football team to ‘guys from the beach in Marbella’.

The BBC host tweeted a photoshopped image of the Senegal football team from yesterday’s World Cup match above fake sunglasses and knock-off handbags. The now deleted tweet said, “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi tasking resourceful chaps.”

Image: Twitter

Naturally, this blatantly racist tweet has received a barrage of criticism on Twitter. One user said “the entire joke revolves around you making a stereotype based on the colour of somebody’s skin. you’re filed pal.”

The reaction to this tweet has naturally been significant, with many calling for the BBC to step in to review his position as a BBC-paid employee.

Before his advisors could step-in, Lord Sugar even rose to some of the twitter abhorrence bait and responded. (He’s deleted these tweets now, but not before we took some screenshots):

Some of Lord Sugar’s BBC colleagues have expressed their shock at this tweet. BBC World News anchor Babita Sharma for example tweeted:

He responded by saying, “if it so vile why have you retweeted it. You make me sick.” Again this tweet has now been deleted:

Half an hour after posting the tweet, Lord Sugar reluctantly tweeted that he’d removed the tweet but only because it had ‘been interpreted in the wrong way’ and that he still thought the tweet to be ‘funny’.

And an hour and a half after the poorly judged tweet went out (and probably after a call with his PR and legal team) Lord Sugar has apologised for the offence caused.

It’s fair to say, he may well be brought back into the BBC boardroom and despite protestations will be on the other end of his famous catchphrase…YOU’RE FIRED.

We have contacted the BBC and The Apprentice representatives for comment.


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