Soccer Dinosaur Blames Firing on BBC ‘Wokeism‘

Former Liverpool legend can’t adapt to changing times

Manny Otiko

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Mark Lawrenson (YouTube screengrab)

It seems that American right-wing propaganda has traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and infected the British media. Mark Lawrenson, a former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland player, recently accused the BBC of “wokeism,” after he was fired from his long-running commentary gig. However, Lawrenson was removed after being on the BBC for about 30 years. I would say that he’s had a good run.

Another thing that makes Lawrenson’s accusation suspect is that they appeared on The Daily Mail, a right-wing British tabloid. The Daily Mail is often compared to FOX News, which is always a dangerous comparison. Also, “wokeism” doesn’t exist. It’s a made-up right-wing phrase that covers anything to do with racial or sexual diversity. And apparently “wokeism” means anything that upsets white men.

Media Wants New Blood

However, Lawrenson is far off the mark for several reasons. First, he works in television, a notoriously youth-oriented and visual medium. Older TV personalities regularly get pushed out in favor of younger performers. Second, according to some comments on a Facebook group where the story was posted, Lawrenson was a mediocre commentator. He offered little new and was relentlessly biased in favor of Liverpool, his former club. It seems the BBC replaced Lawrenson because they wanted some new blood.

But Lawrenson is using diversity as an excuse for his departure. He’s referring to some of the new faces on football commentary shows such as Micah Richards, a former Manchester City player. Also, Alex Scott, a biracial former England women’s international, is a new addition to BBC’s “Football Focus.” However, Lawrenson claimed he came around to being a supporter of Scott.

Lawrenson comes from the old world. The all-conquering Liverpool team which he played in was 100% white. And that’s how things were back in the Bad Old Days of the ’ 70s and ’80s. However, those were not necessarily the best players available. At that time, Black players had a hard…

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Manny Otiko

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.