Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas admitted he was reduced to tears when he realised the gravity of his remarks on stage in Melbourne om Saturday night (February 20th 2016), and has sincerely apologised for the hurt his words have caused.

Rob ThomasRob Thomas makes public apology for racially charged joke

The incident saw the singer commenting on his inebriated state with the unfortunate comment: 'I keep drinking until I think I'm a black Australian.' Needless to say, it didn't go down well with the audience as it sounded like he was making a slur on Australia's Indigenous people.

Rapper Briggs summed up exactly why it was offensive in a Tweet. 'So The Game gets denied entry to Australia. But Rob Thomas can stand in front of 14k people and dismiss its indigenous population as drunks?' He wrote, referencing The Game's recent visa problems.

And now it seems Thomas has finally understood what his words have been interpreted as and couldn't be more apologetic, though he clarified that the joke he made wasn't meant to be about race directly. 'The joke I made was meant to be at no one's expense but my own. I made a comment about drinking so much on the long flight over that I started to think I was something I'm not', he explained in a Facebook post. 'I said I drank until I thought I was Australian. Then I drank so much that I thought I was a black Australian and then I drank so much I thought I was a little Australian girl. These were 3 things I chose at random to represent 3 things I'm not.'

He added that he wasn't actually aware of the stereotype between aboriginal people and drinking prior to the incident. 'I should know that there is a connection between the indigenous peoples of Australia and a stereotype involving drinking. Embarrassingly, I truly didn't', he admitted, also acknowledging the fact that it took him a while to realise 'black Australian' was in itself offensive, a realisation that moved him to tears in his hotel room. 

'I sat in my room and I cried when I found out', he said. 'I am truly sorry for how this came across, most of all to the indigenous people here. Australia has been so good to me for so long that I'm embarrassed I don't know more about the history and the culture.'