BBC presenter apologizes for saying pair of fans were ‘on the Ronaldo diet’

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Dan Walker of the BBC's Football Focus has apologized for commenting that two fans at a Southampton match looked like they were "on the Ronaldo diet" on the program last season. But his apology wasn't directed at any of the people you would suspect.

From the Telegraph:

The BBC One show had just featured a Gary Lineker interview with Ronaldo, the Brazilian footballer who has put on weight since his playing days.

The programme then returned to Walker in St Mary's Stadium, where Southampton were due to face Coventry City on the final day of the Championship season. As the camera panned across a crowd of fans, Walker singled out two men and said: "Looks like those two fellows are on the Ronaldo diet."

One viewer contacted the BBC to complain that the remark was "disrespectful" and amounted to bullying.

Disrespectful to the fans, but apparently not to Ronaldo, who has struggled with his weight and been the subject of jokes since even before he retired from football in 2011.

As a result of the complaint, Walker emailed an apology not to the fans he commented on or to Ronaldo himself, but the viewer who complained. The BBC Trust ruled that the quip caused "unjustifiable offense" to the fans because they were "not public figures." It was not ruled offensive to Ronaldo though, because "he is a public figure and his weight and level of fitness as a former player were of interest."

Coincidentally, Ronaldo is on a diet now for a Brazilian TV show that may more may not be more humiliating than anything Dan Walker could say about him.

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