BBC puts star presenter Gary Lineker on hold after anti-government tweet

The former England striker strongly criticized a British government anti-immigration bill on social media. The chain considered that he had committed “an offense”.

Immediate penalty. The BBC on Friday, March 10, withdrew its star presenter Gary Lineker, after a tweet by the former English footballer comparing the government’s language on refugees to that of Nazi Germany. This decision triggered a revolt among the consultants of the British audiovisual group, forcing it to modify its programs.

After the announcement on Tuesday by the Conservative government of Rishi Sunak of a new bill aimed at preventing migrants arriving by the English Channel from seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, Gary Lineker, very active on Twitter, had denounced “a cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable, in a language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s”.

BBC programs disrupted

The comments of the 62-year-old former England striker, followed by nearly 9 million Internet users on Twitter, sparked heated controversy amid tensions around immigration issues, but also recurring criticism of impartiality aimed at public broadcasting from the British right.

The BBC then claimed that it was going “to converse” with the presenter of the program “Match of The Day”, broadcast every Saturday. On Friday, the audiovisual group said it considered “recent activities [de Gary Lineker] on social networks as a breach of instructions”. “The BBC have decided that he will stand down from presenting ‘Match of The Day’ until we have a clear agreement with him on his use of social media”it is specified.

After the announcement of this sanction, the former striker received many supports. Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, two former players and consultants, announced that they would not participate in “Match of The Day”. Other presenters from the public media have also given up presenting their programmes, causing significant disruption to the programmes. The shows “Football Focus” and “Final score” did not air on Saturday.

source site-29