Geoffrey Boycott has come under fire after suggesting he would be more likely to be given a knighthood if he “blacked up” and claimed that honours were given to West Indian cricketers “like confetti”.
The former cricketer, 76, made the controversial remarks during a Q&A following the recent Test match between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston.
“Mine’s been turned down twice,” Boycott told host Gary Newbon. “I’d better black me face.”
The remarks were met with an “uneasy silence”, according to the Daily Mirror, who report that dinner guests had paid nearly £300 each for a hospitality package.
Boycott later apologised “unreservedly” for his comments, describing them as “unacceptable”.
“Speaking at an informal gathering I was asked a question and I realise my answer was unacceptable,” Boycott said.
“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.”
Boycott has been overlooked for the honour following a domestic violence conviction in 1998.
He was found guilty by a French court of beating his then girlfriend Margaret Moore, although has always proclaimed innocence.
Boycott played 108 Test matches for England and scored 151 first-class centuries. He has worked as a commentator for the BBC’s Test Match Special since 2004.