Mon. Nov 30th, 2020

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Guy Mowbray DELETES his Twitter page after being ‘hounded’ for Marcus Rashford comments

3 min read

Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray has quit Twitter after his reference to Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign were met with backlash online. 

The 48-year-old has worked for the BBC flagship programme since 2004 but his choice of wording when introducing the Manchester United forward led to him believing he has been ‘hounded’.

Rashford has received widespread praise for his work in ensuring vulnerable children in the UK aren’t left to go hungry during the holiday period.

Match of the Day commentary Guy Mowbray has quit Twitter after receiving backlash online

Match of the Day commentary Guy Mowbray has quit Twitter after receiving backlash online

Mowbray's comments on Marcus Rashford's efforts to end child food poverty were criticised

Mowbray’s comments on Marcus Rashford’s efforts to end child food poverty were criticised

His efforts to trigger change, which have also seen him front a new child poverty task force, have led to hundreds of businesses up and down the country offering up their resources.

The campaign made the young forward the centre of attention for United’s clash against Chelsea this weekend.

But Mowbray, an experienced commentator and well-recognised voice, delivered an opening line which triggered an outpouring of frustration from social media users. 

The phrase ‘whether you agree with his causes or not’, in reference to Rashford’s work, resulted in countless people sending critical messages to Mowbray. 

And on Sunday, Mowbray decided to delete his account. He wrote: ‘I really think it is time to go now. 

‘Disturbing getting hounded by people who 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…’ 

Rashford fronts a new child poverty task force to ensure children are fed over the holidays

Rashford fronts a new child poverty task force to ensure children are fed over the holidays

The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines state that: ‘Where our content highlights issues on which others campaign, we must take care not to endorse those campaigns, or allow ourselves to be used to campaign to change public policy.’

These rules mean that Mowbray was unable to publicly endorse, or criticise, Rashford’s efforts on television. 

A further tweet from his account further laid out the situation. 

He said: ‘Believe it or not, there is an alternative view. Ignore its existence? Can’t. Duck the issue altogether? Not really an option.’

However, in response to Mowbray’s comments, one user replied by writing: ‘What is the alternative view to feeding hungry kids, Guy? Just interested to know.’

Another said: ‘Guy Mowbray saying whether you agree with Marcus Rashford’s causes or not. What human with any level of decency or any morals doesn’t agree with his causes?’

A third reasoned: ‘There are a substantial number of people who believe the Earth to be flat. Would you caveat a conversation of geography on their behalf?’  

England international Rashford has retweeted messages from companies across the UK who have offered help over the coming weeks.

Their contributions have been shared with his 3.6million followers and more continue to flood in.

The 22-year-old also volunteered at a food bank in Manchester on Thursday. 

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