WASHINGTON, United States — Elon Musk has apologized for calling a British caver who helped rescue 12 Thai boys from a cave a “pedo”, retracting a comment that had drawn widespread outrage and briefly sent shares in Tesla tumbling. “Pedo” is short for pedophile.
Tesla CEO Musk issued the apology on Wednesday to Vernon Unsworth, who worked on the rescue of the “Wild Boars” football team and had ridiculed Musk’s plan to recover the trapped group using a miniature submarine.
“(H)is actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Musk’s extraordinary tirade against Unsworth was widely condemned, raising concerns over the entrepreneur’s leadership following a series of previous social media attacks on Wall Street analysts, journalists and employees.
His spat with Unsworth began after the British caving expert dismissed Musk’s plan to rescue the Thai football team from the Tham Luang cave as a “PR stunt”.
Unsworth had said the plan to use the device to extract the boys through a narrow series of twisting, flooded tunnels would have had “absolutely no chance of working”.
He added that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”