The BBC’s decision to remove ex-soccer player Gary Lineker from its broadcasts after his harsh criticism of the British government’s immigration reform has caused footballers and presenters refuse to appear again in the program presented by the English star, Match of the Dayin solidarity with him.
In this way, the British chain has announced that the space will not have their usual presenters and collaborators after Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have expressed their solidarity with Lineker, as well as the former player and sports journalist, Alex Scott, the BBC presenter Kelly Somers, and the commentators Steve Wilson, Conor McNamara, Robyn Rowen or Steven Wyeth.
Nor will the usual interviews be done on the program with the players of the 12 teams that play the Premier League this Saturday, as announced by the Association of Professional Footballers, such as “endorsement gesture to those who have chosen not to be part of the program Match of the Day tonight”, although those of BBC Radio will be made to avoid the reprisals that the players could suffer for failing to comply with these appearances.
Likener’s view on reform
Lineker, soccer star of the English team and of FC Barcelona during his youth, and up to now the highest paid presenter of the BBC, expressed on Tuesday in his personal account of the social network his rejection of harsh immigration reform raised by the British Government, promoted by the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.
“This is an immensely cruel policy targeting the most vulnerable people, using language that not far from the one used by Germany in the 1930s“, denounced the presenter.
The chain then held unsuccessful conversations with the presenter, who refused to go back on his wordsand this Friday he decided that Lineker “will take a step back” and will not present the ‘Match of the Day’ program “until we reach an agreed and clear position on his use of social networks.”
“We’ve never said that Gary has to be an opinion-free ‘zone,’ or that he can’t have opinions on issues that are important to him, but we have said that should stay away from taking sides on issues relating to political parties or political controversies,” the BBC statement added.