Gary Lineker, the former England international and current BBC presenter, has been suspended after criticizing the UK government’s immigration policy. Now all BBC sports programs have been cancelled.
At the beginning of March, the British government announced that it was taking tough measures to prevent refugees from reaching the island nation in small boats. In the future, the government will deport every immigrant who enters the country in this way.
English football legend Gary Lineker, who is, among other things, one of the presenters of one of the most popular football programs in the country. Today’s matchI don’t agree with this idea.
On Tuesday, he responded to Interior Secretary Suella Braverman’s video on the subject on Twitter: “Oh my God, this is beyond horrific.”
In another, now-deleted tweet, Lineker compared the language of the government and Braverman to that of Germany in the 1930s.
“There is not much flow [av migranter]. This is just an unspeakably evil measure targeting the most vulnerable people who speak a language not unlike the one Germany used in the 1930s.
Braverman, whose husband is Jewish, expressed her disappointment, saying Lineker was trivializing the Holocaust.
The British public service company BBC, where Lineker works, suspended his work on Friday until further notice. According to the company, Lineker has violated social media rules, and will only return when there is an agreement on what he can and cannot post online.
Then the dominoes started falling.
Broadcasters and footballers boycott the BBC
Early on Friday evening, Lineker’s colleague and Match of the Day expert Ian Wright, a former Premier League favorite at Arsenal, announced that he would not be participating in the program as long as Lineker is in political freeze.
“Everyone knows what today’s match means to me, but I’ve informed the BBC that I will not be on the show tomorrow. Solidarity,” Wright wrote on Twitter.
Wright also says he will resign if Lineker is sacked.
Later on Friday night, several other returning participants, including Premier League legend Alan Shearer and former Manchester City star Micah Richards, also announced they would not be taking part in the programme.
During Saturday, the “sympathy strike” extended to other programs on the BBC, whose weekend schedule consists largely of football programmes.
Six-time league champion with Arsenal, Alex Scott, leads the programmes Focus on football And The final resultShe announced that she will not be working this weekend. Her replacements, Kelly Somers and Jason Muhammad, also withdrew.
So Final Score and Football Focus were replaced with their lifestyle program on Saturday. Today’s match was not substituted, but was performed without a studio segment.
A sports debate program was also held on Saturday Combat talk In, the sports-dominated radio channel Radio 5 Live was forced to broadcast recorded material for several hours.
Independent columnist Tom Beck highlights Karren Brady as an example. Brady is a hand referee at the BBC the ApprenticeOn the other hand, a member of Parliament from the ruling Conservative Party.
Criticism has also been leveled at BBC chairman Richard Sharp, who is suspected of having close financial ties to the Conservative Party and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On the political scene, the opposition Labor Party took a firm stance on Lineker’s suspension. Party leader Keir Starmer accused the BBC of obeying Conservative orders.
It is not neutral for the BBC to yield to pressure from Conservative MPs. Rather, it is the opposite of neutrality, says Starmer.
The BBC always seems to bow to far-right pressure
The outgoing First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, was harsh in her criticism of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
As a strong friend of the public service, I want to be able to defend the BBC, but banning Gary Lineker from broadcasting live is untenable, says Sturgeon.
– It undermines freedom of expression, which is challenged by political pressures. The BBC always seems to bow to far-right pressures.
Instead, former Conservative minister David Gauke says fans should be able to watch football programs without having to worry about politics. Critics like to point out in response that Lineker did not speak on television, but on Twitter.
Former BBC director Roger Bolton defends the media house. According to him, Lineker should have understood that his statement could affect the BBC’s reputation.
– It’s a complete mess, but in the end the BBC is right. Neutrality is very important, Bolton says, and if a presenter talks about a polarizing issue, that’s important.
Also Attenborough for ‘Wake Up’ for the BBC?
Aside from the Gary Lineker crisis, another decision made by the BBC on Friday was also worrying. An episode of The Godfather of Nature, David Attenborough’s latest series wild islands, Which premieres Sunday, is being pulled before publication.
Five episodes of the series will be broadcast, but the sixth episode has not been released yet. This is because the BBC is concerned about angering viewers and conservative politicians. The Guardian reports.
In this episode, among other things, the causes of habitat loss and ecosystems in Great Britain will be investigated. Another topic would be RewildingIt is the concept of restoring nature to its “wild” state, which conservative forces in Britain consider controversial, according to the newspaper.
With this decision, pressure is increasing on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which is under increasing criticism for joining the ranks of the political right.
BBC apologizes – for the blank canvas
As of Saturday afternoon, a solution to the Lineker impasse had yet to be found.
The BBC has spoken out after a long silence on the 15-year-old with an apology for the limited sporting exposure.
“We are working hard to resolve the situation and hope to do so soon,” the company wrote in a statement.
Prime Minister Sunak: This is the BBC’s job, not the government’s
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement on Saturday that the dispute between the BBC and Gary Lineker over criticism of government policy is a matter for the BBC, not the government.
BBC Director General Tim Davie: I will not resign
BBC Director General Tim Davie said on Saturday that he would not resign over the crisis.
(The article was updated at 8.20pm with a comment by Prime Minister Sunak and at 9.15pm with a comment by the BBC Director General)
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