No strangers to a bit of online controversy, bookmakers Paddy Power today whipped up a storm on Twitter thanks to a tweet that’s ill-judged to say the very least.

Appearing to reference the recent unrest in Ferguson, America, the company’s @PPOffers account tweeted “Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male” at 3pm today. Over two hours later the offending tweet is still online, with a host of negative comments in reply.

While Paddy Power’s online efforts often draw some degree of negativity – including being criticised by the ASA for last year’s Oscar Pistorius campaign which featured the tagline “money back if he walks” – more often than not they’re edgy rather than provocative. In this case, however, we can’t help but feel they’ve overstepped the mark.

According to several websites, the only comment from the bookmaker so far has been:

“It’s clearly an acerbic reference to recent police activity in the US. And obviously, no offence was meant.”