Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson goes on new pundit rant after BBC release

Mark Lawrenson was let go by the BBC at the end of the 2021/22 season.
-Credit: (Image: 2022 Newcastle United)

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has doubled down on his criticism of football commentary in a new rant after the BBC released the 65-year-old from his role as a pundit with the company two years ago. Lawrenson had been a permanent fixture on British screens for well over two decades.

Often appearing on Match of the Day and Football Focus on a Saturday afternoon, Lawrenson was let go by the company, and the former Republic of Ireland didn't take too kindly to the rejection, then nor now.

Shortly after leaving the BBC Lawrenson was critical of his departure. In April, Lawrenson publicly slammed the decision, telling The Ben Heath Podcast that it "really p***ed me off," despite admitting he "kind of knew" what was in store. "Basically I was 65 and white," he remarked.

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Lawrenson then continued in his criticism of the BBC when, asked by Heath whether the company had gone 'woke', he replied the organisation was 'top of the woke league'. Now, in an interview with Best Online Poker Sites, Lawrenson has doubled down on his assertion.

"If you're good enough, no matter if you're male or female, you should be doing the job. It's just a fact now that everybody believes that if you're commentator then you should be commentating week in, week out on the Premier League and to a very good standard too.

"My only concern about all this is that women can be as involved to a large extent, such as co-commentating, being pundits or hosting and I think a lot of them are good, but I ask, why is it that women are so involved in the men's game – whether it be punditry or refereeing – but men don't go into the women's game? I don’t quite get that – if you want to be diverse across the board then surely that should be on the table.

"Women's football is definitely getting better and so will the punditry, but you could have someone who's the best commentator in the world and all it takes is for someone to say, 'I don’t like the sound of his voice, he should be replaced'. It’s the way things are now."

Lawrenson joined Liverpool from Brighton in 1981, and made some 356 appearances in a red shirt before having a brief spell in the United States with Tampa Bay Rowdies in the late 1980s. Lawrenson had worked for the BBC since the early 1990s, and his last appearance on Football Focus came on the day of Liverpool's clash against Chelsea in the 2022 FA Cup final.