Michael Stewart has been axed by the BBC for at least five days following his rant against Rangers Director of Communications Jim Traynor, according to the Scottish Sun.
The pundit caused controversy earlier this week when he slammed the senior Ibrox man, claiming that he has deliberately staged an interview between Sky Sports and Alfredo Morelos to deflect away from a story earlier in the week that reported a man had been charged with tampering with brakes on the striker’s car, as per the Sun.
The whole thing became more convoluted when it was revealed that sections of the interview with Sky in which Morelos was said to have accused Celtic fans of racially abusing him were in fact misquoted by the outlet, leading to an apology from Sky themselves.
But Sky have not been the only outlet to take action, with the BBC initially apologising for Stewart’s rant, and now reportedly telling him that he won’t be appearing on the highlights programme, Saturday’s radio coverage, Sunday’s Sportscene or Monday’s Sportsound.
And the Sun also suggest that his long-term future could be in doubt beyond that five day suspension, with uncertainty remaining over whether or not he will be reinstated for next week’s Thursday night coverage of the Scottish Premiership.
Is this the right move from the BBC?
Whether or not you agree with Stewart – and not many Gers do – the BBC have a duty to uphold journalistic impartiality.
As such, Stewart has to be reprimanded for the way that he went on earlier this week.
The corporation cannot be seen to be allowing its pundits to spout such unfounded opinions without evidence or the right of reply from the person they are talking about.
Whether Stewart is done and dusted with the BBC remains to be seen, but at the very least, he deserves this slap on the wrist for failing to adhere to the rules of his employer.
In other Rangers news, ‘Disgrace’ – These Gers fans fume at ‘joke’ performance in win v Hibs.