United Kingdom: ex-football star Gary Lineker unleashes a media and political storm

United Kingdom: ex-football star Gary Lineker unleashes a media and political storm

United Kingdom ex football star Gary Lineker unleashes a media and

“Revolt for Lineker”. “Mutiny at the BBC”. “The Beebs goes too far”. Saturday March 11, a real storm fell on the British audiovisual giant, the BBC, after the suspension of one of its star presenters, the former footballer Gary Lineker, following the publication of a tweet critical against the government of Rishi Sunak.

The former England striker, who has presented the Match Of The Day football show since 1999, was suspended after criticizing a Conservative government bill on Tuesday. The latter aims to prevent migrants arriving by the English Channel from seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, a proposal also denounced by the UN. The outcry was such that it largely eclipsed the headlines of British newspapers Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s highly political visit to Paris the day before.

It’s about a “cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable, in a language not unlike that used by Germany in the 1930s”, wrote on Twitter the 62-year-old ex-footballer. The former sportsman regularly shares his progressive opinions, against Brexit or in favor of welcoming migrants, to his 8.8 million subscribers. In response to a Home Office video defending the bill, he replied: “My God, it’s more than horrible”.

On Friday, the BBC announced that it had “decided that (Gary Lineker) was going to step back from presenting Match Of The Day until we have a clear agreement with him on his use of social media”. In the aftermath, several football broadcast consultants decided to withdraw from their programs by “solidarity”, forcing the BBC to apologize to viewers. A petition of support for the former international exceeded 184,000 signatures on Saturday evening.

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