BBC pundit responds as Rangers shareholders call for sacking amid 1000+ complaints
Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images

BBC pundit responds as Rangers shareholders call for sacking amid 1000+ complaints

Controversial pundit Michael Stewart has broken his silence after Rangers shareholders Club 1872 demanded BBC Scotland consider his position following comments regarding the racist abuse suffered by midfielder Glen Kamara.

The BBC have also claimed they’ve received a total of 1069 complaints about the pundit in the aftermath of the comments which gained national attention [Glasgow Times].

The situation revolves around comments made by Stewart in the aftermath of Rangers’ 2-0 defeat to Slavia Prague, during which Glen Kamara was racially abused by Czech defender Ondrej Kudela. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The pundit is regularly caught up in storms surrounding Rangers with plenty suggesting much of the outspoken former midfielder’s opinions around the club go beyond the footballing.

This came to a head in March when Stewart gave his two cents on the abhorrent racist abuse levelled at Glen Kamara by Slavia defender Ondrej Kudela in the Europa League last 16 clash at Ibrox.

Here’s what Stewart originally said:

The comments drew the ire of both Rio and Anton Ferdinand who demanded Stewart “educate” himself as these sorts of comments generally protect racists and prevent victims speaking out.

Club 1872 would then demand BBC Scotland take action over the controversial pundit with the comments being made on their BBC Sportsound show.

The Rangers shareholders throw their support behind Kamara but took aim at Stewart who they branded a “disgrace” for the comments.

Not only that but the statement claimed Stewart’s outburst “should be his last” as the Gers also highlighted previous for similar comments regarding Alfredo Morelos.

Read the entire thing HERE.

Now Stewart has commented on the situation for the first time and unsurprisingly, he positions himself as the victim.

Via Medium, Stewart uses a George Orwell quote to suggest people have a contorted and twisted view of his comments and appeals for sympathy.

Stewart accuses Rangers of applying “pressure” by retweeting Rio Ferdinand’s legitimate criticism of his comments and also claims the comments were inappropriately clipped.

Here are a few choice quotes from the column although we would recommend you read it in its entirety via the Medium link.

“Those posts were shared widely, with Rangers Football Club’s official account applying more pressure by retweeting Rio’s criticism,” writes Stewart.

Rangers shareholders Club 1872 called on BBC Scotland to act after the comments from pundit Stewart. (Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images)

“The tsunami of in-bound replies was not especially pleasant. Rather than quickly respond and just pour more fuel on the fire. I chose to take some time off to reflect on what I had actually said.

“Had I prefaced my comments with my long-held view that any form of racism or discrimination is completely unacceptable, I may have tempered the response.

“Considering I have condemned any form of discrimination in the past, I found the criticism difficult to take from Rio Ferdinand and his brother who I have the utmost respect for and who have done a great deal of work to highlight the issue of racism within sport and wider society.

“I wonder now if they had actually listened to the clip they shared or, like so many of us, had they only seen or heard what they wanted to hear after having been made aware of my heavily-edited comments?

“All of this is just par for the course now. We have been driven by algorithms on our phones to become polarised and enraged, so we stay connected to them, in turn driving revenue for the big tech companies, which is all dependant on us looking at the screen and reacting in some way.

“But reacting with fire or fury, which ironically sets up another target for the abusers, only serves to distract us from the issue of justice for those who have been wronged.”

Rangers, football and the Ibrox club’s supporters stand with, support and fully believe Glen Kamara. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We should stress this only a snippet of his column and you should click the Medium link above to read it in its entirety.

Withholding judgment is a stance Slavia are very much on the same page with, the Czech side sounding out similar comments regarding the conversation surrounding the abuse.