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BBC Sport chief garners unwanted attention following X-rated taunt at Liverpool

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By Shrishh Attavar

BBC Sport Chief Phil McNulty’s X-rated Liverpool comment during Fulham win draws criticism

Amid Liverpool’s thrilling Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Fulham, the Twitterverse remained ablaze, and at the centre of the storm was BBC Sport’s Chief Football Writer, Phil McNulty. Despite not being on official duty for the match, McNulty’s social media activity during the game triggered a brief but intense controversy that left Liverpool fans buzzing.

As the Reds secured a hard-fought victory over Fulham, the drama unfolded on Twitter when McNulty’s account responded to a tweet featuring a video of Liverpool’s second goal—a deflected equalizer by Curtis Jones.

In a moment of absolute brainlessness, McNulty’s choice of language in a now-deleted tweet—labelling the Reds as “absolute c***s”—sent shockwaves through the Liverpool fanbase. It’s not every day that a seasoned football journalist takes a detour into colourful fan language.

Cope with it, la.
Cope with it, la.

The incident took a peculiar turn when McNulty swiftly removed the contentious content within 10 minutes and claimed his account had been hacked. Now, let’s take a step back and analyse this. Firstly, the timing of the alleged hack seemed curiously convenient. You recover a “hacked” Twitter or X account and Elon Musk will personally give you the keys to a new Tesla.

The only C-word to suit the Reds is Class.

Also, who are these good-for-nothing “hackers” who hurl cusses at a football club from the account of a 63-year-old man? There are other respectable jobs in the world as well.

Secondly, the use of strong language by McNulty was unexpected, given his reputation as a respected football journalist. Not that he holds a lot of that respect now, but it is a lack of professionalism. And very disrespectful.

The incident hinted at a sentiment that’s not unfamiliar to Liverpool fans—the sometimes-irrational animosity towards the Reds. The reactions from rival fans poured in, making us the focal point of online discussions. But here’s the thing: Liverpool Football Club is the best, by far, in the land. Fans can use all of their saltiness in their bland foods, and just sit and cope with the fact that the Mighty Reds are bossing football.

What a win for the Mighty Reds. Liverpool are the best.
What a win for the Mighty Reds.

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In hindsight, a straightforward acknowledgement of a mistake could have diffused the situation. The claim of a hacked account, especially with the quick recovery, seemed like a curveball thrown into the mix. Transparency and accountability go a long way, even in the ever-evolving world of social media.