When the injured Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw agreed to be a pundit for ITV during Saturday’s Six Nations clash between England and Scotland at Twickenham, he could not have guessed the harsh caption they had in store to introduce him to their viewers, and the furore it would cause on social media.
Laidlaw, Scotland’s captain since 2011, was not able to play on Saturday due to ankle injury sustained against France last month. Therefore, he was invited as a guest pundit during ITV’s broadcast of the match.
But the broadcaster’s caption for the Scot skipper was: “Lost each of five tests v England, twice at Twickenham”. Perhaps ITV got swayed by how England crushed Scotland on Saturday (61-21), especially earlier on in the day.
Irrespective of the reason, ITV displayed the insulting caption under Laidlaw’s name during the full-time show, following which fans made their anger known through social media.
Critics thought that the caption should just have introduced Laidlaw as “Scotland Captain” or “Gloucester Player”.
Twitter user, Chiaroscuro, said: “Truly pathetic captioning. Greig Laidlaw was a guest. Show some respect.”
Another Twitter user, Christopher Crimmins, compared Laidlaw to the legendary Clive Woodward who did not manage a single win as the coach of the British and Irish Lions during their 2005 Tour of New Zealand. He said: “ITV such disrespectful caption for Greg Laidlaw, total bias to England. Will you caption Clive Woodwood losing every Lions test?”
Even England fans agreed that the broadcaster had been harsh towards the Scot. One said, “England fan but totally agree - he's been a great player and deserves much, much better than that.”
Many Twitter users also gave suggestions regarding what could ITV have used as a caption instead of the harsh caption it ended up using. Dave Brookes suggested: “Thought @ITVRugby could have shown more respect to Greig Laidlaw today. Why not just put "injured Scottish Captain"? #Shameful”.
Indeed, perhaps ITV could have gone in with a more courteous caption for their guest. A little bit of research on the player would have told him several good things to write about him. After all, he is Scotland’s most capped skipper, all-time third highest points scorer, who has scored 74 conversions and an incredible 134 penalty goals.
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