Laurence Fox has made a name for himself by rustling feathers on social media, but one of his latest tweets has truly crossed the line.

The actor turned right-wing commentator shared a breaking news headline about footballer Benjamin Mendy, and his caption left Twitter users utterly appalled.

On Thursday it emerged that the 27-year-old Manchester City left-back had been charged with four counts of rape and one sexual assault on three women. He has now been remanded in custody over the allegations.

But rather than express his shock at the allegations, or the revelation of the accused’s identity, Fox took the opportunity to make a threatening remark about race.

“Get kneeling, f***ers,” he wrote in his post, in reference to swathes of the sporting community taking the knee before games.

Fox, 43, has long expressed his disapproval of what he and other critics brand “gesture politics”, but what supporters consider to be a powerful symbol of anti-racism solidarity.

His aggressive tweet was later removed by Twitter and his account was temporarily locked for violating its rules against “hateful conduct”.

But the failed mayoral hopeful expressed neither remorse nor regret for his message, instead sharing a screengrab of the notification he received from the platform, beneath the caption: “To be discussed.”

He then added in a separate attempt at provocation: “Night, night Twatter. All lives matter.”

The following morning, he posted a six-part thread attempting to defend his remark by insisting “nothing in [his] admittedly provocative tweet was about race” and suggesting footballers should “own their own mess.”

He wrote: “For too long, footballers have been portrayed as saints with the highest moral virtue. When all too often they prey on young women using their fame, then use money and power to buy silence in a way ordinary men never could.

“Perhaps in light of the most recent [Mendy] case, they should take the knee to the victims of sexual assault and rape? To own their own mess? After all, these are not crimes committed by police officers 1000s of miles away, but by broken role models from within their own ranks?

“But they won’t. It’s easier to project their piety in the name of racial justice than to look to the sins committed by their colleagues.”

He continued: “This is why I have consistently rejected being lectured by professional footballers. They’re hypocrites: mega-rich babies who readily and ludicrously take the position of the oppressed, when all too often they have been the ones abusing their huge power for nefarious reasons.

“Nothing in my admittedly provocative tweet was about race, although it is with crushing predictability that it was spun this way by my political opponents and the usual media grifters.

“Instead I was instructing footballers to kneel for the victims of rape and sexual assaults committed by footballers - a point none of the usual, vocal campaigners picked up on ad they clamoured to shoot the messenger and once again avoid the inconvenient message.”

And he later added this:

Fox’s lengthy and unapologetic statement had come after scores of fellow Twitter users spoke out against his abhorrent Mendy post, with Piers Morgan condemning the 43-year-old as a “disgusting piece of work”. (Note: Fox’s original tweet contains strong language.)

Here’s a look at what other critics had to say, amid calls for him to be permanently banned from the platform.

It comes after the wannabe politician’s vocal campaign against the England football team taking the knee before Euro 2020 matches.

Posting a clip of the team ahead of their semi-final kickoff against Denmark, Fox tweeted: “You live in the one [sic] of the most tolerant and welcoming countries on earth, you virtue signalling babies.”

The backlash over his remark was swift, especially moments before one of the biggest games in England’s history.

The 43-year-old later apologised for saying he hoped the team would lose and that he was “embarrassed to be British” as a result of their participation in the mark of unity.

Following England’s defeat of the Danish, Fox returned to Twitter to offer an uncharacteristic u-turn on his furious stance.

“Right. It’s hard to admit when you’ve made a mistake, but as I tell my kids it’s important to acknowledge it when you think you have,” he wrote. “So here goes. I have always been behind England in any sport and any English team in any competition.”

“I think England is the most fantastic country on earth. We have done so much to promote equality in this nation that people long to come here and make the UK their home. It was therefore disheartening to see the England football team kneeling for  ‘equality,” he continued.

“I feel it’s a deep insult to those who work tirelessly for all the things we have achieved to become the genuinely inclusive, warm and welcoming society we are all part of,” he added. “But to say that I want England to lose just because of their kneeling, is a step too far. I should just have said what I felt about the kneeling and got on with supporting the team.”

He went on to say that the players “intentions are no doubt noble, even if I continue to categorically disagree with what they are doing, saying I want them to lose doesn’t serve any purpose, especially at a time when national morale could do with a boost.”

“You can hate the kneeling and love the team,” he added.

He then set out further reasons for why he disliked kneeling, but concluded with, “I’m sorry for being a dick.”

So can we eventually expect an apology or an admission of fault in the case of his Mendy tweet?

Given that, following the backlash, he tweeted this...

... it looks highly unlikely.

Indy100 has contacted Twitter for comment on suggestions that Fox should be indefinitely barred from the platform.

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