According to the BBC, Gary Lineker has been instructed to take a break from hosting Match of the Day until a resolution about his social media use has been found.
It comes after a dispute over his objectivity arose from remarks he made criticizing the government’s new asylum policy.
According to the BBC, Lineker’s “recent social media activities” violated their policies.
He should “avoid taking sides on party political matters or political scandals,” it continued.
Watch the live reaction as the BBC announces that Lineker will stop presenting Gary Lineker, the football hero who rose to prominence on Saturday television.
Reasons why Lineker’s remarks cause issues for the BBC
We should prioritize stopping tiny boats, says the PM
After “long discussions with Gary and his team in recent days,” the BBC urged Lineker to take a break.
The decision was “made that he will step back from hosting Match of the Day until we’ve had an agreed-upon and unambiguous position on his use of social media,” according to the statement.
“Gary is second to none when it comes to heading our coverage of football and sports,” it stated.
“We have never said Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a perspective on subjects that concern to him, but we have said that he should steer well away from taking sides on party political issues, or in political controversies,” the statement continued.
Everybody is aware of how much Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve informed the BBC that I won’t be doing it tomorrow, according to fellow commentator Ian Wright. Solidarity.”
Alan Shearer, who also presents on the show, said he has “advised the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night”.
Although Lineker has not yet made a public statement, former BBC presenter Dan Walker read a text message from the 62-year-old live on air while he was on 5News earlier.
In a message to Lineker, Walker claimed to have inquired, “What is happening. Are you moving backward?
No, they’ve [the BBC] informed me I had to stand aside, the reply he claimed to have received said.
In an effort to address a surge in the number of people traveling across the Channel in tiny boats, Home Secretary Suella Braverman laid out the government’s intentions on Tuesday to outlaw the filing of any asylum claims by anyone who enter the UK illegally.
Lineker replied to it on Twitter calling it a “immeasurably brutal policy directed at the most vulnerable individuals in terminology that is not different to that employed by Germany in the 30s”.
Lineker’s post was criticized by Ms. Braverman for “diminishing the awful tragedy” of the Holocaust.
The home secretary said the Nazi comparison was “lazy and unhelpful” while claiming that because her husband is Jewish, her family “feels very acutely the effect of the Holocaust.” She was speaking on the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast.
The proposals of the administration were vigorously opposed by a large number of opposition Lawmakers and charities.
The British people’s priority, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is to restrict the introduction of tiny boats.
In response to Lineker’s tweets criticizing the government’s asylum policy, Richard Ayre, a former controller of editorial policy at the BBC who also served as a member of Ofcom’s content board, said the organization had “no choice” but to take action against Lineker.
In his Friday afternoon interview with BBC Radio 4’s PM show, he stated: “I think it was inevitable. Lineker is immediately involved in the day’s most contentious story despite having the letters BBC painted across his forehead.
The director general, Tim Davie, had to address this issue this week since it was urgent and he couldn’t wait until the weekend. He clearly tried to resolve the issue and come to an understanding with Gary Lineker, but they were unsuccessful, therefore the BBC made the choice. What Gary Lineker says in the ensuing hours will determine whether this story develops.
“It’s inevitable that the BBC will face a barrage of criticism stating it is operating at the government’s command now that he has effectively not been fired but temporarily removed,” the author said.
According to a Labour source, the company should “rethink their judgment,” the BBC reported.
In response to political pressure, the BBC made the shameful decision to remove Gary Lineker from the air, which violates free speech.
Conservative politicians who advocate for firing people for objecting to government programs need to be mocked, not catered to. The BBC should reconsider its choice.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon referred to the BBC’s decision as “indefensible” and stated on Twitter that she wanted to be able to defend the BBC because she is a staunch supporter of public service broadcasting. But, it is unacceptable that Gary Lineker was removed from the air.
Free speech is being undermined in the face of political pressure, and it always seems to give in to pressure from the right.
Lineker, who has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 and made roughly £1.35 million in 2020–21, is the BBC’s highest-paid celebrity.
He works for the BBC on a contract basis.
The former footballer has already provided housing for asylum seekers and made a vocal demand for enhanced refugee rights and protections. He has also criticized previous Conservative administrations on matters like Brexit.
On social media, his remarks have received a lot of attention. One tweet received 235,000 likes.