Gary Lineker’s colleagues come out in solidarity, refuse to do MOTD

Gary Lineker’s colleagues have downed tools and come out in solidarity after the BBC removed him as Match of the Day (MOTD) presenter following comments he made about the British government’s racist immigration policy.

The 62 year old host of the BBC’s flagship show announced in a Twitter post on Tuesday to his 8.7 million followers, that the language used by members of the UK government, and in particular Home Secretary Suella Braverman, toward asylum seekers, was similar to that used in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, several news platforms reported.

Braveman hit back in typical mud-slinging Tory style saying his comments were disrespectful of the millions who died in the Holocaust. A tactic the UK government used many times on former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for defending the plight of people in Palestine under the brutal apartheid regime of Israel. Expect antisemite slurs anytime soon.

Lineker’s colleagues, Alan Shearer, Mica Richards, Ian Wright, Alex Scott, and commentator Steve Wilson, informed the BBC that they would not appear on MOTD without him while Sky Sports presenter Gary Neville also tweeted in solidarity…

“When you take on the Tories and the system! Awful people who we need gone.”

The Labour Party condemned the BBC’s “cowardly decision” to stand Lineker down from MOTD duties.

“The BBC’s cowardly decision to take Gary Lineker off the air is an assault on free speech in the face of political pressure.

“Tory politicians lobbying to get people sacked for disagreeing with government policies should be laughed at, not pandered to. The BBC should rethink their decision.”

The BBC’s impartiality claim is not only bizarre, it is hypocritical when you consider former Conservative Party members or donors holding high-ranking positions within the establishment.

BBC chairman Richard Sharp donated £400,000 to the Conservative Party in the past and helped to arrange an £800,000 loan for the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson while Sir Robbie Gibb is a member of the BBC board. Gibb was the former communications director for another former PM, Theresa May.

Prospect editor Alan Rusbridger was another to call out BBC’s hypocrisy over the Apprentice’s Alan Sugar who was very critical of Corbyn during his term as leader of the opposition.

He said…

Dear BBC in the interests of fairness could you please ask @Lord_Sugar to step aside from @bbbapprentice other people may wonder if you are truly impartial @GaryLineker.

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol added…

“I was at the World Cup in Qatar. When it comes to criticising Qatar about human rights issues it appears that everybody is allowed to say what they want in this country. Lineker was allowed to criticise the human rights record of Qatar on the BBC but why is not allowed to comment on the human rights record of the country he lives in?”

Lineker was told to apologise for his comments. He refused.

The BBC issued a statement saying it has been in “extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days.”

“We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.

“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.

“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none. We have never said that Gary should be an opinion-free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”

Match of the Day will go ahead tonight but without any presenters or pundits.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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