Lord Alan Sugar speaks out on ‘racist tweet’ social media storm

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LORD Alan Sugar has addressed his explosive social media backlash from earlier this year.

The Apprentice star faced condemnation from many after comparing Senegal’s national football team to beach-sellers back in June.

Lord Alan Sugar, 71, was accused of racism after he posted a snap of the African squad on Twitter during the World Cup.

He captioned the picture: “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella.

“Multi-tasking resourceful chaps.”

“You put yourself in a goldfish bowl”

Lord Alan Sugar

This led many accusing the star of “casual racism” and “ignorance”.

Actress Kelechi Okafor tweeted at the time: “Let me tell you why @Lord_Sugar is a waste man. He’s one of those wilfully ignorant people who thinks he can’t be racist because he grew up poor. The tweet is overtly racist.”

BBC World News anchor Babita Sharma said the post was a “shocking, vile tweet that you take a screen grab of because you know it will soon be deleted.”

Lord Sugar initially refused to apologise for the tweet, replying to one critic: “I cant see what I have to apologise for …. you are OTT … its a bloody joke.”

However, he later took it down while telling fans: “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 [sic]see that I think it’s funny. But I will pull it down if you insist.”

He then went on to apologise further, writing: “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.”

As well as the Senegal tweet, Lord Sugar was also blasted for posting about a blonde shop worker’s chest in August.

He wrote on a snap of a busty sales assistant back in August: “Nick Hewer went into a shop in Croatia to buy a jumper.

“After 20 minutes my wife said what the hell is he doing in there, he has been ages.”

For this, he was accused of “casual sexism” and “objectifying” the woman.

Speaking out on the drama, Lord Sugar remained calm about the backlash.

At a round table Apprentice discussion, attended by Daily Star Online, Lord Sugar said on the subject: “You have to take the rough with the smooth, you put yourself in a goldfish bowl.”

He added: “When The Apprentice started 14 years ago, there was no such thing as social media. Things have changed.”

Lord Sugar said with this in mind, all Apprentice candidates are briefed “at a very early stage” about their own social media use.

He also said candidates have their social media checked before they even land a place on the show.

He told us: “Social media can be their enemy before selection find out what they’ve been up to.”

Lord Sugar returned to screens on The Apprentice last Wednesday when Sarah Byrne became the first person to leave the process this year.

The Apprentice airs Wednesday nights on BBC One at 9pm.

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