Craig Burley in racism storm as his professionalism called into question.
01 February 2011 03:24
Can ESPN justify the presence of their co-commentator? Craig Burley, notorious doom lord of the co-commentary brotherhood, appeared on Talksport this morning with ex-Celt Alan Brazil and soon worked himself into a proper grumble on the subject of new Rangers signing El Hadji Diouf. "I commentate on some of the SPL games and I'm gutted that I'm going to have to at some point commentate on this fella." Many within the game - not least supporters of Rangers - find troubling many aspects of this transfer. But Burley seems to forget that he is not merely a rent-a-gob or newspaper columnist. He is, in fact, the co-commentator for ESPN, and entrusted to provide analysis and wisdom alongside the more professional and sensible Derek Rae. Both the Club and the player may wonder if Burley's impartiality may be in question. Regardless, the ex-Celt then went on to make further comments which may be more serious. "The sooner he leaves our little island here in the UK on a single ticket somewhere it will not come soon enough for me." Less charitable observers may wonder if this is a racist comment. At the very least it is a questionable choice of words. Burley has chosen a very odd time to allow his mouth to run away from him. Recent criticism of and keen attention to the words and actions of those in the spotlight of the footballing media hasn't ended well for all. Burley has often found himself the subject of fan and fellow media discontent over his constant stream of negativity and personal comments about players that seem to border on grudges. His next appearance on ESPN commentating on Diouf and Rangers will see greater focus than ever before on this controversial curmudgeon. Some may question whether, in light of his comments today, he deserves the chance to say anything.