Ex-English rugby star caught up in Twitter storm over ‘disgusting’ special needs jibeby Jill Robinson
Former English rugby star James Haskell has been slammed for posting a ‘disgusting’ comment used to describe people with special needs on celebrity Jacqueline Jossa’s beach picture.
I’m a Celebrity winner Jacqueline shared a photo on Instagram earlier this week of her posing with a football on a beach.
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Jacqueline, 27, wore a pair of Tommy Hilfiger dungaree shorts with an animal print bikini underneath and a black baseball cap on her head.
But her pal James sparked fury among her followers when he responded with a comment saying she looked “like she was waiting for the sunshine bus” — an offensive slang term used to describe transport used by those with special needs or disabilities.
Jacqueline had captioned the shot: “So @danosborneofficial took this photo of me and I was certain I was going to look like a full on Instagram model in my cute dungarees on the beach.
“FUMING!! Look at me BUT still I look at this with fond memories of playing football on a beach with my hubby, racing and just being so silly. I can’t help but smile.
“Fair to say I will never be that girl.”
Her husband Dan immediately wrote: “Love you” underneath, but it was Jacqueline’s I’m a Celeb buddy James’ comment which really caught people’s attention.
The rugby star, who is married to Chloe Madeley, wrote: “You look like you are waiting for the sunshine bus and if anyone touches your football you will go mad.”
It appears the comment was later deleted.
One of Jacqueline’s furious followers wrote underneath: “Let’s hope you never have children with special needs!”
Another added: “I’m sorry such an ill judged comment...
“As a parent of a child with a disability these types of comments are often said to mock a person’s disability and are hugely offensive, experience first hand the struggles and pain of a disabled person or be a family member who hears comments relating to a person they love it’s heartbreaking.
“So I will happily be on the pc brigade, defending my child and others with disability.”
A third shared: “Wow James, excelled yourself here, this certainly isn’t ‘banter central’ and no I’m not a snowflake, just think this is a horrible comment.”
However others insisted the 34-year-old was just bantering with his friend, who he hit it off with while in the jungle on last year’s show.
As well as posting crying with laughter emojis, another fan wrote: “Everyone’s so sensitive now. No one can take a joke.”
A fellow follower added: “All the snow flakes need to get a grip.”
James’ comment comes after he sparked complaints from I’m A Celebrity viewers for joking that fellow contestant Ian Wright had a “clubfoot”.
While watching the former Arsenal striker jog around the campsite, James had said: “He’s completely lost the plot! Look at that clubfoot.”
Ofcom received 78 complaints in relation to the comment, aired on November 25, while charity Steps UK, which works with those affected by lower limb conditions, said it could encourage bullying and discrimination.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced with permission