Former England international turned talkSPORT pundit Trevor Sinclair has sparked a furious backlash on Twitter over his post following the Queen's death.
Buckingham Palace announced in a statement just after 6:30pm on Thursday that Queen Elizabeth II had died at her home in Balmoral after her family had rushed to be by her side following concerns raised earlier in the day by doctors. Her passing after 70 years on the throne has sent the nation into mourning as tributes poured in from all corners of the globe.
However, Sinclair reacted to the news by tweeting: "Racism was outlawed in England in the 60’s & its been allowed to thrive so why should black & brown mourn!! #queen." The tweet has now been deleted and, so of Friday morning, Sinclair's Twitter account could not be accessed either.
On Thursday night, TalkSport responded to calls for Sinclair to be axed with a tweet of their own which read: "We have been trying to make contact with Trevor Sinclair following opinions expressed on his Twitter account. talkSPORT does not support those views expressed and is investigating the matter."
The radio station had earlier paid tribute to the Queen with a post including a picture of her awarding the Jules Rimet trophy to England World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore at Wembley Stadium in 1966, along with the caption: "Everyone at talkSPORT sends their condolences to The Royal Family. Rest In Peace, Your Majesty."
His post sparked immediate fury and debate among users, while his talkSport colleague Simon Jordan commented on the post: "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 over riding sentiments not division !"
Many users were incensed by Sinclair's view, with one writing: "Totally agree with your sentiment Simon. An un called for, unnecessary, unwanted point of view at this moment in time."
Another user wrote: "It’s really not hard to just show respect … regardless of opinion, likes or dislikes."
British Olympian Kelly Sotherton was among those to criticise Sinclair, replying to his tweet: "You should be ashamed of yourself .. I have no other words that are appropriate."
Former Notts County owner Alan Hardy wrote: "You’re an absolute disgrace. No words." While ex-Middlesbrough defender David Wheater said: "Crikey trev you’ve gone in wildly there mate."
Yet others defended Sinclair, with one commenting on Jordan's post: "Respect and value is earned, not a given or birthright. The man is entitled to feel however he does about the monarchy."
More followed a similar line of defence for Sinclair, with one stating: "Freedom of speech..may not be good timing but he can say what he wants." Another said: "Should be given the chance to explain his comments.... not sure how but given the chance."
Sinclair's media agents, Tongue Tied Management, later tweeted: "At a time of national mourning, Tongue Tied Management neither supports nor condones the views shared on Trevor Sinclair’s account earlier this evening. The matter will be dealt with internally."