Gary Lineker claims he was racially abused because he has ‘dark skin’ | Soccer

Gary Lineker is one of England’s most lauded strikers of all time.

Former England footballer and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has claimed he was racially abused as a child and as a player.

The 61-year-old, who is white, says his “dark complexion” has caused him to be used as a racial slur by both school students and prominent figures in the sports industry.

In Lineker’s playing career he spent spells at clubs including Everton, FC Barcelona and hometown club Leicester City, as well as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year presenter, claim that both his youth and playing days were plagued by racist attacks.

In a discussion about his early life, Lineker said that classmates taunted him because of the color of his skin.

“Without being good at sports, life would have been very different for me,” Lineker told the High Performance Podcast, which was founded by and co-hosts BT Sport host Jake Humphrey.

“Because I… I think I would have been bullied at school. I was kind of on the edge [treated] Anyway, because I was this tiny geeky kid, with dark skin and quite a lot of racial slurs… although I’m not… I’m as English as they come. All the time, all the time.’

The phrase “English as they come” was criticized by some online, who thought Lineker was equating English with whiteness.

Lineker also claimed to have suffered racial abuse in football but refused to name those he alleges used slurs against him.

“Even in professional football I’ve had that a few times, I would never name names. So I got this kind of nonsense, which was a bit weird. If that was part of something that made me I don’t know, but other people couldn’t handle it.

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General Sports Gary Lineker claims he was racially abused because he has 'dark skin' | Soccer

Nate Jones

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