Attendants of the annual PFA Player of the Year awards were left shocked by the risque stand-up material of black comedian Reginald D Hunter.
Hunter, a regular on shows such as Have I Got News For You, repeatedly used the word "n*****" at the event at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, with his routine cutting a little too close to the bone given a succession of race controversies in English football in recent years.
The comic even opened his act with a joke about Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who last year served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
The 10-minute routine left prominent senior figures, including FA Chairman David Bernstein who stripped John Terry of the England captaincy following his racism row with Anton Ferdinand, squirming uncomfortably in their seats.
But PFA chairman Gordon Taylor attempted to defuse the situation when asked if it was a mistake to book Hunter: "No, no, don't be silly. Are you serious? I think there were a few raised eyebrows over the comedian, but that is the sort of thing you can't control. It was unfortunate.
"He is a professional comedian. It's a difficult subject in football and with him not being fully aware of how emotive it has been in football, that was probably a difficulty for him."