PFA apologise for 'wholly inappropriate' Reginald D Hunter performance

The American comic used racial slurs during his act at the end-of-season awards ceremony, prompting outcry following a number of recent racism issues in the sport
The Professional Footballers' Association has apologised for what they describe as the "wholly inappropriate" performance of comedian Reginald D Hunter during their 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 have now condemned the tone of Hunter’s act.

"The PFA regrets the offence 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.

"He was booked on the basis of his recent television appearances however clearly his performance last night was of a very different nature. 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% 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.

"We share the disappointment felt by our diverse membership at the choice of language throughout his appearance.

"Finally, we would not like this incident to detract from the huge efforts put in by the PFA and other stakeholders in the game in anti-racism initiatives and we take this opportunity to underline our commitment in this area."

Gareth Bale was crowned PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year on the night.