Football Association Chairman Greg Clarke had to apologise after referring to "coloured footballers" while giving evidence to a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee meeting.
Mr Clarke was answering a question around the difficulty of homosexual players in the men’s game coming out because of social media backlash.
Clarke said: “If I look at what happens to high-profile female footballers, to high-profile coloured footballers, and the abuse they take on social media… social media is a free-for-all.
“People can see if you’re black and if they don’t like black people, because they’re filthy racists, they will abuse you anonymously online.
“They can see if you’re a woman, some of the high-profile black, female footballers take terrible abuse, absolutely vile abuse.
“I haven’t talked directly to gay footballers because I haven’t been able to find any who would meet me but I talk to other people around the game and they say ‘why would you voluntarily sign up for that abuse?’”
Mr Clarke withdrew his comments after being asked if he wanted to review what he said by Kevin Brennan MP.
Mr Clarke said: “If I said it I deeply apologise.
“I am a product of working overseas, where I was required to use the phrase people of colour. Sometimes I trip over my words.”
An FA spokesperson followed up with a further apology afterwards: "Greg Clarke is deeply apologetic for the language he used to reference members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing today.
"He acknowledged that using the term ‘coloured’ is not appropriate and wholeheartedly apologised during the hearing."
Clarke was asked about what the FA was doing to improve diversity within the governing body.
“I was talking to the chair of a county FA from the west country. He has tried to now make sure he has representation within diverse communities,” Clarke said.
“(He told me) ‘I’m over-committed with South Asians, I’m not getting enough people from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds’.
“The BAME communities aren’t an amorphous mass. If you look at top-level football, the Afro-Caribbean community is over-represented versus the South Asian community.
“If you go to the IT department at the FA, there’s a lot more South Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans. They have different career interests.”
There was widespread criticism for the comments from Mr Clarke.
Sanjay Bhandari, Executive Chair at Kick It Out: “I was extremely disappointed to see Greg Clarke's comments today in the DCMS Select Committee. "His use of outdated language to describe Black and Asian people as ‘coloured’ is from decades ago."
Mr Clarke also described being homosexual as a "life choice", which caused further ire.
"Being gay is not a ‘life choice’ as he claimed too," Mr Bhandari said.
"The casual sexism of saying ‘girls’ do not like balls hit at them hard, is staggering from anyone, let alone the leader of our national game. It is completely unacceptable.
"I was particularly concerned by the use of lazy racist stereotypes about South Asians and their supposed career preferences. It reflects similar lazy stereotypes I have heard has been spouted at club academy level.""