Ladbrokes 'sincerely apologise' after official Twitter account posted photo mocking Parkinson's sufferer Dave Clark
Furious customers have deleted their accounts with Ladbrokes after the leading bookmakers posted an insensitive tweet about Sky Sports presenter and Parkinson's sufferer Dave Clark.
Clark is the anchor of Sky Sports' Darts coverage and was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system in 2011.
After keeping his diagnosis secret for two-and-a-half years, Clark went public in 2013 but has not let the disease impact on his broadcasting career.
During his presenting of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace last night, Ladbrokes tweeted an image of Clark with the message: 'Dave Clark looks like he's caught the whiff of something nasty & wants to murder the person who's caused it...'
Clark hit back on his own account saying: 'That'll be the chronic degenerative neurological condition that will eventually rob me of the ability to walk,talk and smile @Ladbrokes #parkinsons'
Thank you so much for all the amazing messages. I have to admit I had a little tear in my eye reading some of them. Merry Christmas to one and all. Just had this from @Ladbrokes https://t.co/BDFCv52Vtl— Dave Clark (@DaveClarkTV) December 22, 2017
In a statement to Independent.ie this morning, Ladbrokes apologised for the tweet and pledged to make a donation to Parkinson's UK.
“We sincerely apologise to Dave Clark for an ill-judged and inappropriate tweet, and we would also like to apologise to all sufferers of Parkinson’s for any offence caused. We will be making a donation to Parkinson’s UK in support of this excellent charity," the statement read.
A number of high profile figures, including former England international and Match of the Day presenter Alan Shearer, and Ladbrokes customers voiced their displeasure at the tweet.
Wow! Two people tweeting. One is a gentleman, who inspires us all. The other a little prat on a keyboard hoping for a cheap laugh. I know who I stand with. You’re an inspiration Dave. F**k them. Keep doing yourself and everyone else proud. #parkinsons #hero https://t.co/FE1RVUuw0t— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) December 22, 2017
As a result of this tweet I have deactivated my @Ladbrokes account and I would encourage others to follow suit.. Dave Clark is an absolute gent, deserves an apology & a donation to Parkinson’s charity he campaigns for... https://t.co/gRPMm7XyJJ— Carl Brand (@manccarlo) December 22, 2017
@Ladbrokes I think your tweet to dave Clark last night was appalling. I hope the person who tweeted gets sacked. It’s been reported. Shocking. Truly shocking . You have lost a customer because of this. pic.twitter.com/DdTvrIv6u3— (@pooswfc) December 22, 2017