Mark Lawrenson has claimed that he was dropped from the BBC’s soccer protection as a result of “I’m 65 [years old] and a white male”.
Lawrenson retired on the finish of final season after 30 years as a pundit and co-commentator with the company, most just lately that includes on BBC One’s Soccer Focus. However he has now mentioned it was not his determination to step down in an interview with the Sunday Occasions.
The previous Liverpool defender additionally claimed that the BBC’s head of soccer informed him the information in March of this yr. “The Beeb are in all probability the worst at providing you with unhealthy information,” Lawrenson mentioned. “It was simply: ‘We’re happening the street subsequent season with [Football] Focus. We don’t assume it’s actually one thing for you.”
Lawrenson additionally praised the present Soccer Focus host Alex Scott, however added that the previous England worldwide was “thrown in” to switch Dan Walker. “She has achieved nicely in equity to her, and is a stunning child,” Lawrenson mentioned. “Some individuals don’t need her to be any good, however she has bought higher and higher.”
“From the outset, we had been making an attempt to make the programme as straightforward as attainable for her,” he added. “It was a bit bit irritating as a result of she would ask you a query after which transfer on … I might wish to say one thing [else], however I simply needed to shut up as a result of she was simply studying.”
Lawrenson, who has coated six males’s World Cups for the BBC, added that the company was “frightened to dying of upsetting anyone”.
“In all my time on the BBC, no person ever mentioned ‘you possibly can’t say this or that’, however the ‘woke’ factor drives me bonkers,” he added. “I’ve been right here for 20-odd years, I believe I would know what to say and what to not say.”
He then gave an instance of what he thought of a “very early woke second” from 25 years in the past. Lawrenson claimed that when commentating on a Bradford Metropolis match within the days after the dying of Princess Diana, he was suggested by an editor to “not point out the wall” when describing free kicks.
The BBC has not responded to Lawrenson’s feedback to this point. The previous Republic of Eire worldwide made his farewell look on Soccer Focus in Could, earlier than Liverpool’s FA Cup ultimate win over Chelsea at Wembley.