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Matchbox 20 Singer Rob Thomas Apologizes For Racist Comments Made In Australia

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Carly Ledbetter
ATHENA IMAGE © donna ward/ABACA USA ATHENA IMAGE

Rob Thomas has apologized after making racist comments at a concert in Melbourne, Australia, last week. 

The Matchbox 20 singer was caught on camera talking about his drinking habits during his plane ride to Australia.

"I drink till I think I'm Australian," Thomas said. "And then keep drinking till I'm a black Australian." According to his Facebook apology post, Thomas followed up the comment by saying, "... and then I drank so much I thought I was a little Australian girl." 

Thomas posted an apology to his Facebook on Sunday night in an attempt to explain his remarks. 

"First, please understand that I did not intend to make a joke ABOUT race," the singer said. "I have seen people comment that after coming here for so long I should know that there is a connection between the indigenous peoples of Australia and a stereotype involving drinking. Embarrassingly, I truly didn’t." 

Thomas said that his jokes were "3 things I chose at random to represent 3 things I’m not." He also claimed to misunderstand exactly why people were groaning at his comments at the concert. 

"I was so ignorant to the situation that when I heard people groan I actually thought THEY were being racist, I didn’t know until TODAY that just the phrase ‘black Australian’ was racist all on it’s own. [sic] I sat in my room and I cried when I found out," he wrote. 

Read the rest of Thomas' apology below: 

I would like to take an opportunity to further explain the comments I made in Melbourne last night.

First, please...

Posted by Rob Thomas on Sunday, 21 February 2016


Just after the show, Thomas said in another Facebook post that he felt "like a fool" and was deeply sorry. 

"Everyone who knows me is aware that for the past 20 years I have been a fervent supporter of civil rights, so I am incredibly embarrassed by my ignorance," the singer said. 

Thomas currently has eight other performance dates set in Australia. He said on Facebook that he'll be using his time there to learn more about the country's history and culture. 

The Huffington Post reached out to Rob Thomas and will update this post accordingly. 

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