10 June 2020

BBC apologises for mixing up England rugby players Ellis Genge and Lewis Ludlam in article discussing race issues

The BBC has apologised after publishing an article about England rugby star Ellis Genge, but illustrating it with a picture of his international team-mate Lewis Ludlam.

Genge, 25, had been talking about the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in his hometown of Bristol by members of the Black Lives Matter movement. But the report on the BBC’s website showed a picture of Ludlam with Genge’s name underneath it.

An angry Genge took to Twitter, saying: "I’m actually  f****d off with this happening to every mixed race/black sportsperson. 

“Must be the 15th time in less than a year just between me and @LewisLudlam.”

Genge shared his disgust on Twitter (Twitter: @EllisGenge)

Ludlam echoed his team-mate’s disgust adding: "I’m with Gengey on this one - however, wrong mixed raced guy @BBCSport.

"Probably should be getting that right on an article about race issues. Not the first time this has happened."

A BBC spokesperson later told The Independent: “We apologise for this human error, which fell below our usual standards on the website.”

The photo was later replaced with a picture of Genge.

Ludlam, 24, added that ITV had made a similar mistake captioning a photo of him as Bath and England star Anthony Watson.

He wrote: "Not just Gengey. ITV think I’m @anthonywatson_".

ITV made a similar mistake using a photo of Anthony Watson rather than Ludlam (Twitter: @LewisLudlam)

Watson joined the Twitter thread, replying to Ludlam, saying: “You’d be lucky my charge” alongside two laughing emojis.

Ludlam’s Northampton Saints team-mate Courtney Lawes also mocked the blunder.

He said: “I mean... you and gengey aren't even the same shade,” while former England captain Will Carling dubbed the incident ’shocking’.

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