Canada's multiculturalism minister says he and his wife were victims of a racist remark uttered by a player at a tennis court in Ottawa.

Minister of State for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal tweeted about the remark, recounting an incident he says occurred at an unnamed tennis club in the city earlier this week.

"A woman leaving the tennis court looked at me and my wife and said 'Are they members? Why can't they play in the day - they don't have jobs,'" he tweeted.

A number of Twitter users retweeted and replied to the comment, expressing their outrage.


Uppal took to Facebook on Tuesday to thank people for their supportive comments.

"Canada is an incredibly diverse and pluralistic country that embraces the values of tolerance and equality of opportunity," Uppal said in his post.

He also condemned the views of the women who made the racist remark. "The comments directed at me and my family at an Ottawa tennis court were ignorant and disappointing to hear," he said.

Uppal added that he'll use this incident as an opportunity to encourage parents and educators to teach their children about respecting others.

Uppal, who is Sikh, is the Conservative MP for Alberta's Edmonton-Sherwood Park riding.

He is the first Canadian cabinet minister to wear a turban in the House of Commons.