The pundit and former professional footballer was asked to give up his presentation duties after making comments on his social media targeting the Conservative government and the illegal migration law.
Following Gary’s social media comments, the BBC said in a statement that they “have decided that he will step down from presenting Match of the Day until we have an agreed and clear position on his use of social media”.
The suspension remains in place pending an agreement on his social media use.
What did Gary say and what has happened since the BBC made their position clear?
What did Gary Lineker say on Twitter that caused the MOTD fallout?
Gary took to his social media to take a firm stand against the illegal migration bill introduced by Suella Braverman and the Conservatives.
The bill, which introduces new laws such as the immediate arrest of those entering the UK illegally and a ban on seeking asylum, has met with widespread opposition.
Many pointed out that the laws appear to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Gary tweeted on March 7: “This is just immeasurably cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable in language not dissimilar to that of Germany in the 30’s and I’m out of order?”
He also called it “more than terrible”.
It was his tweet comparing the language of government to the language of Germany in the 1930s — also known as the Nazi Party — that seems to have sparked the most controversy.
After weathering debate and headlines, Gary took to Twitter again on March 8 to write: “Never in my life have I experienced the love and support I received this morning (apart from the goals at the World Cup in England possibly ). I want to thank each and every one of you. That means a lot. I will keep trying to stand up for these poor souls who have no voice. Cheers everyone.’
When it first appeared the BBC would not interfere, Gary tweeted on March 9th that he would be presenting MOTD as usual.
He wrote: “Well it’s been an interesting few days. I’m glad this ridiculously disproportionate story seems to be winding down and I’m really looking forward to presenting @BBCMOTD on Saturday. Thank you again for all of your incredible support. It was overwhelming.’
However, on Friday March 10, the BBC released their statement that Gary would be stepping down while they investigated.
The full statement read: “The BBC have had extensive discussions with Gary and his team over the past few days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity a violation of our policies.’
“The BBC has decided that he will step down from presenting Match Of The Day until we have an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.”
“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.”
“We never said that Gary should be in a free-of-opinion zone or that he cannot have an opinion on issues that are important to him, but we did say that he should stay away from taking sides on partisan politics or controversies. ‘
Who supported Gary Lineker?
After the BBC confirmed that Gary would not be hosting MOTD, there was a quick response from his fellow commentators and pundits.
He was joined by former Newcastle star Alan Shearer, who said: “I have informed the BBC that I will not be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.”
Other presenters and sports personalities who opted out of the presentation include:
Gary also had support from Piers Morgan and Dan Walker, who would fill in for Lineker at MOTD before moving from the BBC to Channel 5, who tweeted: “It will be very interesting to see how the editors, directors and producers all come together react to the decision.’
Gary Neville, who hosts ITV’s football coverage, supported Ian Wright’s boycott decision, writing: ‘I had no doubt that Ian Wright would do it! Who the hell is going to go on now!’
It has also been reported that Premier League players and managers are not required to give interviews to be used on the show as the show will air without presenters.
MORE: Why did Gary Lineker’s comments ruffle more feathers than the actual small boat policy?
MORE : GB News causes confusion over promise to host ‘alternative’ Game of the Day… without actually showing football
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/11/what-did-gary-lineker-say-as-motd-fallout-continues-18424963/ What did Gary Lineker say as the MOTD fallout continues?