A leading bookmakers has apologised to Sky Sports presenter and Parkinson’s disease sufferer Dave Clark after a tweet was sent out from their Twitter account mocking a facial expression that he made during live coverage of the Darts World Championship.
The Ladbrokes Twitter account attempted to make a joke at Clark’s expense on Thursday after posting an image of him while presenting at the Alexandra Palace, unaware that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011.
The tweet read: “Dave Clark looks like he’s caught the whiff of something nasty & wants to murder the person who’s caused it…#LoveTheDarts.”
The post received a large backlash from social media users aware of Clark’s condition, and he soon took to Twitter to condemn the attempted joke.
“That’ll be the chronic degenerative neurological condition that will eventually rob me of the ability to walk, talk and smile @Ladbrokes #parkinsons,” Clark responded.
He received a wave of support from other users, and later issued a second message that read: “Thank you so much for all the amazing messages. I have to admit I had a little tear in my eye reading some of them. Merry Christmas to one and all.”
Clark also confirmed that he received an apology from Ladbrokes, who also pledged to donate towards the Parkinson’s charity that helps treat suffers of the condition.
“We would like to apologise sincerely for what was a completely ill-judged, and inappropriate tweet,” a message from the Ladbrokes Twitter account read. “We will today be making a donation to @ParkinsonsUK in support of this excellent charity. Keep up the great work.”
Clark has actively campaigned to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and work with the charity to generate funding for treatment, and he has remained the spearhead of Sky Sports’ darts coverage while suffering from the condition.