KSI has apologised and announced a break from social media after using a racial slur in one of his videos with YouTube group Sidemen.
The YouTuber works with fellow internet stars, such as Miniminter, Zerkaa, TBJZL and W2S, to create content for the Sidemen YouTube channel, and on Sunday (2 April), they posted their latest video, 'Sidemen Sunday Countdown'.
Millions of subscribers look forward to the channel's weekly posting, but just one day later, the Sidemen Sunday video was taken down.
It came after KSI was heard using a racial slur which is often directed towards people from Pakistan or who are of Pakistani descent, after which other members of the group burst out laughing.
The boxer, whose real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams 'JJ' Olatunji, was quickly hit with backlash from viewers who made clear there was absolutely no need for him to use the term, with writer and content creator Umir among those criticising the comment.
"Been a KSI fan for the longest but so weird for him to say 'p***' in the latest Sidemen vid even if they bleeped it & it was 'in jest' for content.
"Other racial slurs wouldn't be used as punchlines for YouTube gameshows. Just makes light of the word + certain people's experience."
Umir noted that the slur hadn't been edited out, indicating creators 'were fine with it', and added: "They didn't think the use of the word for cheap laughs was an issue. That minimises the topic's significance. Racial abuse toward Asians is taken less seriously, more of the time."
KSI acknowledged the controversy in a tweet posted today (3 April), as he wrote: "I wanna apologise for saying a racial slur in a recent Sidemen video. There’s no excuse, no matter the circumstances, I shouldn’t have said it and I’m sorry.
"I’ve always said to my audience that they shouldn’t worship me or put me on a pedestal because I’m human. Im not perfect, I’m gonna mess up in life, and lately I’ve been messing up a lot."
As well as apologising for the comment, the YouTuber added: "I’ve decided I’m gonna just take a break from social media for a while."
With more than 24 million subscribers on YouTube and another 23 million across Instagram and TikTok, KSI has a lot of eyes on him.
He's not yet confirmed how long his social media break will be, or exactly what platforms it will encompass. Next month, he's set to face Joe Fournier in a boxing match at OVO Arena in Wembley, London.
LADbible has reached out to the Sidemen for comment.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org