Cricket: Geoffrey Boycott under fire for saying he needs to 'black up' to get a knighthood

Evan Bartlett
Geoffrey Boycott under fire for saying he needs to 'black up' to get a knighthood

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.” 

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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.”

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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.

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