Presenter forced to apologise for making cruel joke about F1 legend Michael Schumacher live on TV
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A presenter has been forced to apologise after making an offensive joke about Formula One legend Michael Schumacher's condition.
Antonio Lobato was providing punditry on the Japanese Grand Prix for DAZN in Spain on Sunday alongside broadcasters Noemi de Miguel, Pedro de la Rosa and Toni Cuquerella.
But he caused an almighty stir with a joke he made at the expense of seven-time world champion Schumacher, who has not been seen in public since a skiing accident in 2013 in the French Alps in 2013.
After another pundit said "Let Adrian Newey (Red Bull engineer) be shaking because Antonio Lobato is coming, he responded by remarking: "Let Michael be shaking! Well... not Michael, he cannot shake."
As expected, the joke did not go down well and after going viral, led to calls from fans for him to be removed from his position. That action has not been taken at the time of writing but Lobato posted a five-minute video on his social media apologising and describing as "pure clumsiness".
Spanish commentator laughing at Michael Schumacher.— Ari³ (@h0neybadgerkiki) September 25, 2023
-Toni Cuquerella: "Let Adrian Newey tremble, Antonio Lobato is coming".
-Antonio Lobato: "Let Michael tremble, well not Michael, he can't tremble".
I haven't watched it on @DAZN_ES for years because these idiots host it. pic.twitter.com/PoJYNggo3Z
He explained: "I made a mistake without any bad intentions. It was simply a mistake of pure clumsiness, of pure inability to express myself correctly, maybe because of too many hours up, jetlag in Madrid, or whatever – which is not an excuse for those of you who didn’t see it.
“What happened is that I went too far and made an expression that is not good, it is not accurate, it is not fine.
“I didn’t mean to make a joke. I didn’t mean to make fun of Michael Schumacher, no.
“I think that everyone who knows me and knows what I’m like knows perfectly well that I would never make a joke about something like that. Never, but I was clumsy.”
Schumacher was placed in a coma in 2014 after hitting his head on a rock before eventually been taken back to his home in Switzerland, though details about his quality of life have remained scarce.
His son Mick has carried on his racing legacy and is currently a reserve driver for Mercedes and McLaren.