The BBC has issued an apology for accidentally publishing a photo of Raheem Sterling while covering the arrest of a Premier League player on rape suspicion.
The broadcaster was airing a news story on an unnamed Premier League player who, despite being aware of the charges, had not been suspended by his or her club.
The player was detained after being caught in north London earlier this month, and two additional accusations against him were made by two different women.
However, in what appeared to be a technical error, the BBC inadvertently aired a photo of recently acquired Chelsea midfielder Raheem Sterling during their program.
“A Premier League player detained on suspicion of rape has not been suspended and can fulfill his professional obligations,” Mike Bushell of the BBC said to start the interview.
Bushell suddenly faltered and ended the news section, albeit it seemed that the announcer had realized their error.
“We’ll have more on that story later,” he said.
“Was going to say, they can still travel, the player has not been named, still can travel and fulfil the arrangements of the team’s pre-season.
“We don’t know the team, we don’t know the player either.”
Viewers of the news bulletin were eager to criticize the BBC online, and the gaffe wasn’t missed.
One person tweeted: “Did anyone else just see the BBC News mention a footballer and rape allegations, with a picture of Raheem Sterling, that was suddenly removed and the presenter try to change the subject?! What’s going on?”
Another person tweeted: “Horrendous error. No excuse not being careful around such a delicate subject. Was the report prior to that about Sterling and Chelsea and the image wasn’t taken down? If the image was chosen for that story that’s really really bad.”
After the error, the BBC News channel apologized live on air.
They stated: “In our sports bulletin this morning, owing to a technical error the wrong picture appeared in connection with the story of a Premier League player arrested over alleged sexual offences.”
“A picture of a different and wholly unconnected player was shown. We apologize for this mistake.”
Although the athlete could not be identified, it was said that his club knew of a rape allegation against him from the previous season and yet permitted him to play.
As he is still a subject of a police investigation, it has now come to light that they do not intend to suspend him from playing for them.