ITV footballer presenter Adrian Chiles has come under fire for a Polish 'joke' he made during the channel's coverage of England's 4-1 victory over Montenegro.
Near the end of the broadcast, Chiles started to look forward to England's clash with Poland on Tuesday night – a match that will secure England's place in the World Cup if they win.
Chiles, whose mother is Croatian, said that the game on Tuesday is "practically a home game for Poland – 15,000 Poles will be in here, I’m sure."
Pundit Lee Dixon responded by saying: "Hopefully, they’re all crying at the end," to which Chiles replied: "I'm trying to get some building work done at the moment, quite seriously. Be careful."
The remark seemed to play up on the stereotype that vast majority of Polish people in London work in the construction industry.
The comment sparked an immediate debate on Twitter with some people labelling it a racist remark, while others countered saying people were overreacting.
You can see a sample of the opinions below
— OfficialNickHardy (@nickhardy777) October 11, 2013
Adrian Chiles should be fired for his bad attempt at a joke. That was borderline, if not racist. Totally uncalled for. — Tëvin (@Tevinales) October 12, 2013
I don't think Adrian Chiles was racist but the joke was not needed and in poor taste.
— Jonny Chace (@JonChaceCPFC) October 12, 2013
Why are people making such a big fuss about this Adrian Chiles Polish nonsense!?
— Ryan Guest (@rguest92) October 12, 2013
Why does everyone want to see racism in humour - for God's sake relax - PC gone mad - Adrian Chiles is allowed to make a joke
— Sim Hurrell (@MorningMajor) October 11, 2013
ITV declined to comment on the issue when contacted by the Daily Telegraph.
But Chiles later issued an apology, claiming he is actually having work done on his home by some Polish builders:
"I made the remark in relation to the nice Polish builders currently working at my place, who I knew would already be fed up having watched their team lose to Ukraine.
"No offence was intended - apart from anything else I could hardly be prouder of my own East European background. But to anyone who thought what I said constituted some kind of lazy stereotyping, and was offended by it, I certainly apologise."
We decided to send Chiles' comments to our office in Warsaw for a reaction but our Polish colleagues seemed to be more offended by the lack of originality of the joke than the stereotype behind it.
As Eurosport Poland's Łukasz Przybyłowicz told us:
"I don't find it controversial or really interesting. For me it isn't even funny. Sure, it could be funny when you hear it the first or the second time but the joke repeated at every situation becomes so boring.
"We've heard similar things millions of times so now no one cares. I was at Top Gear Live in Warsaw last month. It was the biggest Top Gear event ever. And it took place in Poland not UK. Up to 60k fans at National Stadium. Jeremy Clarkson was really impressed. His welcome words? 'So if we have 57k fans here, who is fixing my sink?' Even Poles laughed."
But what do you think? Was the comment offensive? Just a little misjudged? Or are people overreacting to a harmless joke? Leave your thoughts below.