The BBC commentator attempted to clarify his words without success, so decided instead to terminate his account
BBC Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray has been forced to delete his Twitter account after an angry reaction to his comments about Marcus Rashford.
Rashford has been widely praised for his campaign to fight child hunger in the UK, with his efforts sparking a country-wide effort to ensure children will have access to free food during the upcoming school holidays.
The Red Devils striker was critical of the UK Government earlier this week as a vote to extend free school meals over the holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated.
Though the motion failed, a number of businesses vowed on Friday to step up and provide free meals over the holidays – with Rashford retweeting many of the offers and including the location of the businesses.
Rashford was equally successful with his efforts on the pitch in midweek, with the 22-year-old scoring a late winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Mowbray reflected on the events of the previous seven days during his commentary of United’s goalless draw against Chelsea on Saturday.
“He didn’t get a win in parliament, but he got the winner in Paris,” Mowbray said. “And whether you agree with Marcus Rashford’s causes or not, there’s surely only admiration for his continued commitment.”
Mowbray’s comments were perceived by some as questioning whether fighting child hunger was a worthy cause.
After a significant backlash, Mowbray attempted to clarify his comments, saying he was referring to the political elements of Rashford’s cause, given he was commentating for a state broadcaster and needed to comply with impartiality rules.
With the angry reaction failing to subside, Mowabray opted to release a statement before deleting his account.
“I really think it is time to go now,” he said.
“Disturbing getting hounded by people whose view of a situation is in reality the same as mine.
“Impartiality broadcast rules mean things have to be phrased a certain way.
“I tried to do that, having checked my original words in the morning with the programme editors.
“I had to change them – it’s in the political arena so balance (however strange that may seem with some topics) is paramount.
“The first things I said were purely factual.
“The latter was wholesome praise of someone fighting a noble cause. That’s it. Couldn’t have done anymore. Shouldn’t have done any less.”