The suspension of football icon Gary Lineker from the BBC continues to cause a stir in England.
Gary Lineker didn’t let his appearance on game day be taken away. With his son George, the English icon sat in the stands of his hometown club Leicester City and saw, to his regret, the defeat against Chelsea (1: 3). In a dark suit, the 62-year-old acted like a classic anchorman, but Lineker was turned away from that role as presenter of the Premier League show BBC suspended – which has now led to major upheavals in all areas of society on the island.
The political parties, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, BBC-Boss Tim Davie, numerous sports stars and even Jurgen Klopp are involved in the controversy surrounding Lineker’s criticism of Britain’s asylum policy. It is about solidarity, recriminations, justifications and demands for resignation. Even the program of the venerable BBC is severely impaired. All the excitement leaves the best-known German in the anything but “united” kingdom at a loss.
“I’m not a local, but I don’t see any reason why anyone should be suspended for making that statement,” Liverpool FC team manager Klopp commented on the Lineker debate: “I’m not sure if I have a language problem – but I do can’t find a reason for it.”
Gary Lineker: English asylum policy like “Germany in the 1930s”
Lineker compared the language used by the conservative government in its asylum plans with “Germany in the 1930s” on Twitter. Interior Secretary Suella Braverman’s policy was “more than terrible”. Braverman had previously unveiled plans to bar migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats – prompting an outcry from human rights organizations.
What followed Lineker’s criticism and his dismissal as moderator of the highlight program “Match of the Day” (the British counterpart to the sports show) is a huge uproar, which is now even accompanied by live tickers from the British media – they provided enough content for this past hours.
It all started when ex-internationals Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, who were scheduled to be experts, canceled their participation in the show in solidarity with Lineker. The commentators who had been scheduled joined the boycott shortly thereafter.
In the end, the otherwise hour-and-a-half broadcast on Saturday evening became a 20-minute clip show without comments, interviews or analysis. Since TV and radio presenters of other programs also went on strike, the broadcaster had to apologize for the numerous program changes.
Gary Lineker vs. BBC: the outcome is completely open
BBC-General director Davie ruled out resignation despite the deep rift within the station – and tried to build a first bridge for Lineker. “I would see it as a success if Gary got back on the air,” said Davie.
Whether Lineker will play along with this project is an open question. Finally had the BBC justified the removal of the former goalscorer by saying that she considers the eager Twitter user’s post to be in violation of her guidelines. Davie also justifies the suspension again. Lineker, on the other hand, stands by his statements.
This also applies to Prime Minister Sunak, who wants to stick to the asylum plans. Their quarrel should be Lineker and the BBC solve among themselves, said Sunak. If she BBC is in a position to do so is doubted by the opposition Labor Party, among others.
For a long time there has been criticism of the island on the island BBC, according to which the broadcaster is no longer non-partisan due to the closeness of its bosses to the Conservatives. The fact that Davie was a former Tory politician speaks volumes for many critics.
Probably also for linekers. That he would base his most famous saying in the future on the phrase “and in the end she always wins BBC” will change seems unlikely.