Geoffrey Boycott to stay a cricket pundit despite racist remarks on knighthood

Geoffrey Boycott, a former England cricket legend, said he would have to ‘black me face’ in order to receive a knighthood

cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:13 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Geoffrey Boycott,Geoff Boycott,England cricket team
Geoffrey Boycott has apologised for his racist comments on West Indian cricket greats receiving the knighthood. (Getty Images)

Geoffrey Boycott will not be asked to resign from his role as an expert in the Test Match Special (TMS) radio show, the BBC has confirmed after the former England captain-turned-commentator made racial remarks on the topic of getting a ‘knighthood’.

Boycott, a staunch personality on the field as well as in the commentary box known for his straight-forward remarks, had created a controversy when he opined he would have to ‘black up’ if he has to receive knighthood.

“He has rightly apologised unreservedly for these clearly unacceptable comments. He will be part of the team for the West Indies Tests,” a BBC spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

According to the report, Geoffrey Boycott, who is ‘jokingly referred to as Sir Geoffrey’ on-air, had also made a stinging remark that the honour has been handed out to cricketers from the Caribbean like ‘confetti’.

A total of 11 West Indies cricketers, including Vivian Richards, Garfield Sobers and Curtly Ambrose, have been knighted in the past.

Geoffrey Boycott had apologised for his comments which were made during a break in play in the first-ever day-night Test in England, against the West Indies.

“Mine’s been turned down twice. I’d better black me face,” he reportedly said during a VIP lunch — also attended by several black guests — having paid as much as £300 per head for the occasion.

The 76-year-old took to Twitter to apologise for his comments.

“Speaking at an informal gathering I was asked a question and I realise my answer was unacceptable. I meant no offence but what I said was clearly wrong and I apologise unreservedly. I have loved West Indian cricket my whole life and have the utmost respect for its players,” he wrote.

Birmingham community activist Desmond Jaddoo, meanwhile, said Boycott’s comments were ‘like something from the dark ages’.

“They were ill-advised and ill-conceived. The West Indian cricketers received knighthoods because they excelled on the cricket field. He should take a long, hard look at why he doesn’t have a knighthood rather than offending those who do have one,” he said.

Edgbaston’s Labour MP Preet Gill said, “Let’s call it what it is, it’s irresponsible, it’s racism.”

In 1998, Geoffrey Boycott was convicted by a French court for beating his former lover Margaret Moore, and the cricketer had described it as one of the reasons for not getting the knighthood.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 11:08 IST