BBC apologise after fans slam Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler’s ‘disgusting’ Hillsborough comments made on radio Friday morning.
The broadcaster has said sorry for not ‘robustly’ challenging Martin Tyler, who is currently trending on Twitter, over comments made about the Hillsborough disaster.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Tyler was speaking about 30 years of the Premier League, and referred to ‘Hillsborough and other hooligan related issues’ in words that have understandably caused widespread anger.
It is known and accepted that disgraceful slurs made about Liverpool supporters and hooliganism related to the 1989 disaster are untrue, as was clarified at the 2016 inquests which found Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed.
— Tom Dunn (@tomdunn26) August 5, 2022
The veteran’s comments have been widely condemned and today the BBC issued an apology for not challenging him on them.
A tweet from the BBC News Press Team account said: “We regret that we did not robustly challenge Martin Tyler on a comment which appeared to link Hillsborough and hooliganism. Martin has since apologised for the comment and clarified that these were separate examples & he did not intend to conflate the two.”
People were less than impressed with the apology with Deanna Matthews, whose uncle Brian was killed at Hillsborough, said: “If you can’t be a responsible broadcaster stop giving people a platform to spout lies and untruths.”
Hillsborough survivor and author Adrian Tempany added: “More shoddy journalism from the BBC today. So many journalists are now losing the ability to think on their feet, deviate from the script, and challenge people when they lie.”
Liverpool City Region Mayor and Liverpool fan Steve Rotheram described the comments as ‘exceptionally crass’ and said Martin Tyler ‘should know much better.” He added: “Even now people whose careers are built on football still spread these foul smears.”
Liverpool Wavertree MP and Reds fan Paula Barker tweeted: “Disgusting comments from Martin Tyler this morning on BBC Radio 4 Today who said ‘Hillsborough and OTHER hooligan related incidents’ Nobody challenged him!! How can he be allowed to have a career in sports journalism & perpetuate these lies.”
The apology from the BBC came after reports a number of people had made complaints directly to the corporation.
Then at around 12pm, Martin Tyler said as per Sky Sports: “This morning while discussing various crises facing football 30 years ago, I referred to some examples including the Hillsborough disaster and also controversy over hooliganism at matches. These are two separate issues. There is no connection at all between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism – I know that, and I was not implying that there was. I apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding.”
Twitter users had their say as the BBC apologise after Martin Tyler is slammed over ‘disgusting’ Hillsborough comments…
@james79rigby: Liverpool should not allow Martin Tyler into Anfield to commentate for Sky. @LFC
@AaronMannion89: Martin Tyler’s comments are vile, disgusting and imo an apology is not enough! Sky Sports, do the right thing and get rid!
@looprevil2006: @SkySports after Martin Tyler’s disgusting comments this morning on Radio 4, what action are you taking?
@_GSpeakman: What Martin Tyler said was wrong, but the amount of people wanting him sacked out of a job because of it are ridiculous. Like they’ve never say anything wrong eh?
@Bifters1920: Who’s he apologised to?
@TrevorPGerrard: Martin Tyler’s true colours coming out on radio 4. He has an engrained dislike of Liverpool. That’s obvious. Talking about Hillsborough as a hooligan related incident is poisonous and peddling Tory lies. He knew what he was doing. I expect a blustered, half arse Tory apology soon
@StevesWorldLFC: Separate examples would not have included the word other.
@LFC_mnm: Martin Tyler really irritates me when he commentates on #LFC games, I don’t wish anyone to get sacked, but hope he’s moved off top games now, give him the EFL instead. Bring in a Peter Drury and Ally McCoist combination.
@stensolli: He hates LFC. Everybody knows that
@StalFithrildi: “… Hillsborough and other hooligan related events” is exactly what he said, so his ‘clarification’ is actually a lie isn’t it?
@Gunga__Din: Martin Tyler is long past his use by date. He should have been put out to pasture years ago. Its obvious from his commentary he hates LFC anyway, and I don’t think his comments about Hillsborough were an accident. Vile human being
@sazzam31: He knew exactly what he was doing. He conflated Hillsborough with hooliganism by using the word ‘other’ , whilst also giving himself an out that some people would fall for.
@IbnAnakin: Martin Tyler has ruined so many moments for Liverpool on Sky Sports that it became a running joke that he hates us. However this is no longer a joke. Absolutely disgusting comments, @SkySportsPL I hope you respond the same way you did with Andy grey
@AAustin81: Bollocks his apology is only down to the reaction. He meant it
@JUSTLFC2: Did he just compare a state failure and turned it into a hooliganism by fans? Absolutely pathetic. He should apologize and be sacked.
@El_Pibe2022: Martin Tyler is a horrible crass human for linking Hillsborough to hooliganism… geezer should be banned from Anfield and sacked by Sky for these comments by nothing but a out of date bitter Manc!!! #JFT97 #ynwa #lfc
@LiamLiammoore: Martin Tyler outed for what we already knew .. dislikes our club and city & makes it plain & obvious in his moribund Monotone monologues.. 😡
You do know we heard it ?
— alan haywood (@alan_alh) August 5, 2022
@thewellywall: He did conflate though and your audience need the correction communicated to them via the show and not to the few that will see it on here. Shoddy journalism allowing Tyler’s statement to stand unchallenged given how high profile Hillsborough is.
@DynastyKlopp: Rubbish… needs sacking and keeping off air
@ArlArse666: damage is done though isn’t it.
@TheDreamSociety: Tyler should be sacked for this. He’s long been biased against Liverpool and this is another example of his true feelings. I don’t accept his apology
@CraigWebb31: I’m sorry thats absolutely horse shit! Its a reaction he meant it hes just back tracking! Gotta be sacked @SkySportsPL
@AnfieldMagic: Who’s he apologised to? The BBC or the families who lost loved ones
@CharlotteFree: Or the people that survived? #LFC
@Luke_LFC19: @SkySportsPL Sack him
@ejones1954: What a load of old bull! This is not good enough. Sack him
@welli69haj: Who was the presenter? Why did they not correct Tyler there and then?
@MackemScouse: Bollocks. The BBC were complicit at the time of the tragedy. Nothing has changed.
@katherine_swinn: Too little too late! If you’d wanted to challenge him then you would’ve done so at the time. Your silence spoke volumes. The use of the word ‘other’ by Martin Tyler clearly indicated exactly what he thought & what was commonly believed following the cover up by the authorities.
@abritty21: Wow this is scandalous & again shows how deep rooted the Hillsborough campaign against the fans was/is. People subconsciously go back to their original thoughts when caught unaware!!
@DJ_Large: Another lie from Tyler – why even mention the two in the same breath? It’s obvious what his opinion is and what he meant, the man is an out of touch clown and he needs to retire
@batchowski19x: @Carra23 hi Jamie you once said it was nonsense that Martin didn’t dislike Liverpool. Well he’s just classed Hillsborough as a hooligan related incident. Thoughts?