Ant Middleton has quit his role as the Chief Cadet at the Royal Navy because of a tweet about rioters. Middleton referred to rioters as “absolute scum.”
Anthony Middleton, aka Ant Middleton, is a British veteran, television star, and adventurer. His major television role was as a Chief Instructor in the series SAS: Who Dares Win on the UK's Channel 4. He also featured in the survival show Escape and adventure reality show Mutiny.
In November last year, The Royal Navy honored the former Special Boat Service soldier with the title of Chief Cadet. His primary role was mentoring young cadets.
When he was hired, Middleton wrote on Twitter: “Strange to be officially back in uniform but ‘right' to give back to an organization that has shaped me.”
However, his Twitter posts eventually became his undoing. After Black Lives Matter protests were overshadowed by more violent riots, a tweet calling rioters “scum” caused the rise of a Twitter campaign against him.
Reports suggest he was told it is either he quit or suffer the embarrassment of getting fired. It didn't matter that he has since deleted the tweet and apologized.
In the apology video, Middleton said, among other things, that he was not racist, and that the tweet was a commentary on “the violent protestors of any kind who I despise.” He also said, “I accept that my tweet was inappropriate and offensive and would like to apologize unconditionally.”
Middleton decided to quit. An individual close to the matter told The Sun: “He never thought he'd be given such a difficult choice.
“But he has decided to take matters into his own hands and step down. He's gutted.”
The tweet was not the first time his social media remarks infuriated his bosses. In March, just when the coronavirus was spreading globally, he said he would continue his life normally in a video he posted on Instagram.
“Am I still out travelling the world? Yes. Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.
“Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some disease, COVID-19, dictate my life? Absolutely not. Get out there, don't change, F**k COVID-19!” Ant said in the video.
His tweets might have also cost him a position at the Soccer AID 2020 match. The soccer charity event has raised more than £38 million for UNICEF since it was started in 2006. Middleton's rep confirmed he was out of this year's event amid speculation that his involvement would make other players uncomfortable.