The Professional Footballers' Association has apologized for what it described as the "wholly inappropriate" performance of comedian Reginald D. Hunter during the annual end-of-season awards ceremony.
The American comic repeatedly used racial slurs during his set at the Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair, as well as joking about Liverpool striker Luis Suarez - who was banned for eight games in December 2011 for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Suarez, Evra, John Terry, Anton Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand have all been involved in rows over the issue of racism in recent years, and the PFA has now condemned the tone of Hunter’s act.
"The PFA regrets the offense caused by the performance of Reginald D Hunter at last night's Awards ceremony in London," a statement read.
"We share the strong disappointment felt by our diverse membership at the choice of language throughout his appearance. We would like to make it clear that we feel any use of such language is wholly inappropriate."
The PFA went on to explain that Hunter was brought in with no knowledge that he would use the type of racially charged material that he ended up performing for the ceremony.
"He was booked on the basis of his recent television appearances however clearly his performance last night was of a very different nature," the statement continued. "Whilst we are not generally made aware of the material a comedian intends on doing, it is clear that the language used was unacceptable.
"In a conference call with Reginald and three members of The London Speakers Bureau through which he was recruited, it was outlined the makeup of our audience which would be widely diverse including around 25 percent of women and ages ranging from 18 to 80. It was made absolutely clear that swearing or any racist references were to be avoided. Therefore we were totally dismayed that the performance was the exact opposite of our requirement."
- Reginald D Hunter
- Patrice Evra
- Luis Suarez