Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has been forced to apologise after he posted a picture of crude racial stereotypes to some of his Newcastle team-mates on Twitter.

The defender came in for criticism after posting the image, below, along with the message "Always good to see you guys smiling", which he sent to team-mates Massadio Haidara, Vurnon Anita, Papiss Cisse and Mousa Sissoko.

He later removed the images after receiving complaints from Twitter users, before posting: "Apologies if my tweet offended anybody"

Anita came to his Newcastle colleague's defence, later writing: "Is Just Banter with Papiss, Moussa, Vurn' and Me. He joke with me 2 min before."

Sports stars have a chequered past when it comes to using social media. Rio Ferdinand was fined by the FA after seeming to to Ashley Cole as a 'choc ice', while the Chelsea defender landed himself in hot water after using the hashtag "bunch of twats" when referring to the FA.

Newcastle are yet to comment on the incident.

Premier League defender posts 'racist' image on Twitter

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#Football
#Premier League
#Newcastle United
#Steven Taylor