'He's here to learn': KSI visits mosque after using racial slur in Sidemen video and taking social media break

5 April 2023, 16:58

KSI was seen in a mosque
KSI was seen in a mosque. Picture: Social media/Getty

By Will Taylor

Social media star KSI has visited a mosque after using a racial slur in a YouTube video.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The influencer used the offensive word "P***" during a Countdown-themed game with his group The Sidemen.

He has apologised for causing hurt and said he is talking to people from South Asian communities after the term caused a fierce backlash.

The 29-year-old was seen visiting the Al-Hikam Institute in Bradford.

Wearing a red covering, he appears in a clip with Imam Muhammed Asim Hussain that has been viewed millions of times.

Read more: KSI apologises for racist slur in Sidemen YouTube video and announces 'break from social media'

The Imam says in the footage: "With the intention of malice, even those probably sat on the side, they probably didn't understand... they might have just been like laughed off.

"He's here to learn about what it is, he's never been in a mosque."

And on Wednesday, KSI – whose real name is JJ Olatunji – read out a pre-written statement on the Fred Talks Fighting account on YouTube.

KSI has apologised for using the slur
KSI has apologised for using the slur. Picture: Getty

"I want to express my heartfelt regret for what I said and I want you to know that I am genuinely ashamed and deeply sorry for any pain or suffering I have caused," he said.

"I realise that my words have consequences and as a public figure [I have] a responsibility to use my platform for good rather than perpetuating discrimination - and this week I have failed to do this.

"Privately I have taken the time to engage in very early conversations with some people from South Asian communities and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months ahead.

"I will continue to educate myself on the rich history and culture of South [Asia] and the struggles faced by its people. I am committed to doing better, being a better ally and using my platform to uplift marginalised voices."

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell arrested by detectives investigating SNP finances

KSI has already said he will take a break from social media.

The YouTuber, who has also found fame through his boxing, admitted he had been "messing up a lot" and added there was "no excuse" for what he said.

He has amassed more than 24 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly nine million followers on Twitter.

KSI has found success in music, too, seeing his second album All Over the Place reach number one in the UK in 2021, while his Prime drink – developed with fellow YouTuber Logan Paul – sold rapidly from stores.