BBC Scotland pundit Michael Stewart has had his suspension from the national broadcaster extended as an investigation continues into comments he made live on BBC Radio Scotland.
The outspoken former player let loose in an on-air rant following claims that Alfredo Morelos was racially abused by Celtic fans, doubting their legitimacy [Herald Scotland].
Stewart also suggested that the entire thing had been orchestrated by Rangers PR chief Jim Traynor to deflect from earlier stories about someone allegedly tampering with the brakes on Morelos’ car.
As a result of the unacceptable and potentially defamatory coverage, Stewart was pulled from BBC Scotland’s radio coverage of Hearts v Kilmarnock last week.
The entire thing was made stranger when it came to light that Sky Sports, or a third party, had mistranslated the Morelos interview to make it seem like he had accused Celtic fans.
This led to a Celtic statement on Sky Sports and our Old Firm rivals pulling their co-operation with the broadcaster [Celtic].
However, since this incident, a young Celtic fan has been charged with racially abusing Alfredo Morelos [Rangers] whilst Kilmarnock are now investigating another incident at Rugby Park [Daily Record].
This follows on from incidents at the likes of Tynecastle earlier on in the season [BBC Scotland].
There is plenty of existing and growing evidence that Alfredo Morelos has been racially abused in Scotland and Stewart’s rant has no basis in fact.
Nor is there any suggestion that Rangers used the mistranslated Morelos interview to combat negative news stories surrounding the player’s private life.
BBC Scotland issued a direct apology to Rangers PR chief Jim Traynor for Stewart’s comments in the next day’s episode of BBC Sportsound [BBC Scotland].
Rather tragically, a petition has since been launched [Change.org] to reinstate the outspoken pundit despite the former Hearts midfielder failing to apologise for the comments, which verge on conspiratorial madness.
It very much appears that Stewart is now reaping what he has sown for the constant criticism and negative coverage of the Ibrox club.
According to the Scottish Sun, the pundit’s suspension from the national broadcaster will continue into next week with the former Man United midfielder missing Sportscene last night.