Trevor Sinclair has been stood down by Talksport amid investigations after he suggested black and Asian communities should not mourn the Queen.
The radio station has confirmed the former England footballer “will not be on air” while it establishes the “circumstances and timing” of his controversial tweet.
Within two hours of Buckingham Palace confirming the Queen’s death, Sinclair wrote online: “Racism was outlawed in England in the 60’s & its [sic] been allowed to thrive so why should black & brown mourn!! #queen.”
The post prompted hundreds of angry replies, with many calling for a boycott of Talksport unless he was sacked. The former England midfielder had been on presenting duties for the station earlier on Thursday at Doncaster Racecourse.
Sinclair’s verified account appeared to be re-activated on Friday with an apology.
TalkSport immediately attempted to distance itself from the comment, saying the station “does not support those views”. In an internal email seen by Telegraph Sport, Lee Clayton, head of the station, also asked “all presenters and representatives of the Talksport brand to refrain from posting any derogatory or contentious remarks on social media in light of the current news events”.
The radio station later released a statement saying:
Simon Jordan, a fellow pundit and presenter on the station, had earlier messaged the former footballer: “Trev I’m really not sure that is an appropriate thought, let alone tweet . The country has lost a very significant person and respect and value should be the overriding sentiments not division!”
The outburst from Sinclair was in contrast with previous tweets he had written about the Queen. “Our Queen looked so fragile when addressing the nation earlier but was so genuine with humility, her majesty still inspired,” he tweeted in 2020.
In 2018, Sinclair had been ditched from punditry for the BBC after he racially abused a police officer who had arrested him for drink-driving. Sinclair was arrested after being found to be more than twice the legal drink-drive limit, Blackpool magistrates court heard. Sinclair asked the arresting officer if he was being arrested because he was black, accused the police of racism and urinated in a police car. He continued making racist comments after he was taken to the cells at Blackpool police station.
Sinclair, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving and a racially aggravated public order offence, had been sentenced to 150 hours of community service and handed a 20-month driving ban.
The former footballer’s controversial tweet came as the rest of sport united in paying tribute to the Queen.
Sinclair appeared to have deleted his Twitter account on Friday morning as the furore erupted.