Winston Marshall, banjo player for the folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, is stepping away from the group after tweeting support for a book by alt-right personality Andy Ngo. The musician offers an apology in a statement shared on social media on Tuesday night (March 9).

“Over the past few days, I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates, and for that I am truly sorry,” Marshall writes. “As a result of my actions, I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots.

“For now," he adds, "please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention."

Marshall received a barrage of angry replies after, on Saturday (March 6), tweeting about having read Ngo's recently released book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, which critics have noted contains inaccuracies and misleading claims. "Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man," he wrote in the now-deleted tweet.

Ngo's work, which also includes appearances on Fox News and columns in print outlets, has been criticized for portraying left-wing activists as violent yet not calling out similar behavior from their right-wing counterparts. A 2019 video shows him associating with members of Patriot Prayer, a white supremacist group, before they attacked an Antifa hangout in Portland, Ore.

As Billboard points out, Marshall and his Mumford & Sons bandmates also came under fire back in 2018, after inviting to the recording studio Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, University of Toronto professor and YouTube personality who has been accused of misogyny, Islamophobia and transphobia.

"I don’t think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say," Marshall said at the time. "Primarily I’m interested in his psychological stuff, which I find very interesting."

Founded in London, England, in 2007, Mumford & Sons released their newest album, Delta, in 2018.

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