Rob Thomas Apologizes for ‘Black Australian’ Comment

“I didn’t know until TODAY that just the phrase ‘black Australian’ was racist all on it’s own,” former Matchbox Twenty frontman says

Rob Thomas, a rock star best known for fronting the band Matchbox Twenty, has apologized for making a joke on stage in Australia that many perceived as racist.

“I did not intend to make a joke ABOUT race,” Thomas wrote on his Facebook Sunday. “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. The joke I made was meant to be at no one’s expense but my own. I made a comment about drinking so much on the long flight over that I started to think I was something I’m not.”

On Saturday, Thomas offended fans when he said, “I keep drinking until I think I’m a black Australian.” The comment that was caught on video and posted online by TMZ.

“I said I drank until I thought I was Australian,” he explained. “Then I drank so much that I thought I was a black Australian and then I drank so much I thought I was a little Australian girl. These were 3 things I chose at random to represent 3 things I’m not. I’m not Australian. I’m not black and I’m not a little girl. Again, if I had any idea of the stereotype I would have chosen another example. There was absolutely no malice even in jest.”

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

See his full apology post 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, February 21, 2016