The banjo player for Mumford & Sons is taking a hiatus from the band as he face controversy over supporting right-wing journalist Andy Ngo, known for his coverage of anti-fascist groups.
Winston Marshall posted on social media that he is "taking time away from the band" after tweeting a message praising Ngo over the release of his new book, "Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy."
"Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man," Marshall wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
According to a review in the Los Angeles Times, the book downplays the deaths of Americans including Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Black teenager who was fatally shot by a community night watchman in 2012, and Heather Heyer, the counterprotester killed at the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
It also allegedly calls the Proud Boys, which Canada recently designated as a terror group, a "pro-Trump fraternity."
Marshall's celebratory tweet immediately caused backlash among some fans as well as his bandmates, according to an apology he shared to Twitter on Wednesday.
"Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed," he wrote."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's statement continued, "As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots. For now, please know that I realize how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behavior. I apologize, as this was not at all my intention."
Many conservative figures took to social media to criticize Marshall for not staying true to his original opinions.
Not drugs, child porn or wife beating ... He's stepping away from the band because he likes Andy Ngo's book, "Unmasked."— Ann CoulterAnn Hart CoulterConservative pundit Ann Coulter says Trump 'is done' Mumford & Sons banjo player on hiatus after praising conservative journalist's book Library staffer fired after being accused of burning Trump, Coulter books MORE (@AnnCoulter) March 10, 2021
Get it here: 'Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy' https://t.co/Ezuxxq028y https://t.co/t0cBDWomF3
Imagine apologizing for reading a book— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 10, 2021
Sad. Who will have the guts to say, it is okay to disagree with me, even vehemently, but it is not okay to bully people into compliance. In America, we all have to live together. What is the lefts plan when 40% of the country won’t play their game?#suggestShoveShoot— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 10, 2021
It's not clear when Marshall plans to return to the musical group.
He and fellow band members Ted Dwane and Ben Lovett were also criticized in 2018 when they were photographed with conservative YouTube personality Jordan Peterson.