A sports reporter with the BBC has been fired for a "racist" comment she made while covering the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup now taking place in Uruguay. The reporter, identified as Samantha Lewis, had worked with the BBC since 2008 covering football matches. She even covered games from the previous Under-17 Women's World Cup.
Ms. Lewis, who did the broadcast on the game which featured former Champions Japan and New Zealand, after the Oceania team advanced to the semifinals following a 4-3 penalty shootout win, said:
"So for the first time since the inception of the tournament ten years ago there will be no team from the AFC zone in the semifinals. It has taken a decade, but that's how long we had to wait to see the Asian dominance of this competition finally come to an end."
Ms. Lewis continued:
"Of course, some may allude to the fact that France won this competition in 2012. But who did they beat in the final? Korea DPR."
Many BBC viewers took umbrage to Ms. Lewis' remarks with many calling into the studio and condemning them as "racist" and "white supremacist in nature" and that she was being very unprofessional. They even suggested that her services with the BBC be terminated.
Director-General of the BBC Anthony William Hall had this to say concerning Ms. Lewis:
"We had to let her go. The BBC is a highly professional organization and we absolutely cannot tolerate such comments as those from Ms. Lewis whether they were intentional or not. She was apologetic for what she said but unfortunately it was a case of too little too late."
"This is just how cruel the world of broadcast journalism can be. You can never get a second chance to correct whatever insensitive remarks you make on the air. And unfortunately, in this age of political correctness in which we now live just one sentence or word can mean the difference between an employee having a job or being unemployed. Even if he or she is a ten-year veteran."