Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has apologised after posting a picture that sparked a racism storm on Twitter.
• Ryder: Toon feel Les Bleus
Taylor, 27, could find himself in trouble with the Football Association following the incident, which involved him tweeting an image that seemed to mock some of his Magpies teammates.
Replying to a message from Massadio Haidara, in which the full-back teased Taylor over his attempts at learning French, Taylor wrote: "It's always good to see you guys smiling."
The tweet contained a picture showing three black stereotypes, along with a photo of teammate Vurnon Anita, and copied in the Twitter handles of Papiss Cisse, Moussa Sissoko and Anita. Taylor, however, soon took down the tweet.
Despite Haidara later declaring the incident as “banter”, the tweet provoked angry responses on the social networking site and was soon spread across a number of supporters’ sites.
@27StevenTaylor Is Just Bander with Papiss , Moussa , Vurn' and Me . He joke with me 2 min before .— Massadio Haidara (@MassadioHaidara) November 15, 2013
Taylor subsequently tweeted an apology for his behaviour.
Apologies if my tweet offended anybody.— Steven Taylor (@27StevenTaylor) November 15, 2013
The FA has given Taylor until Wednesday to respond before deciding on any potential punishment for the player. It follows the 45,000-pound fine Rio Ferdinand received in August last year for using the term 'Choc ice' on the social networking site.