BBC reporter Gary Lineker taken off air over asylum policy criticism – DW – 11/03/2023

Public broadcaster said on Friday that former England captain and BBC presenter Gary Lineker was temporarily sacked from broadcasting, after his criticism of the UK’s new immigration policy sparked a row with his employer.

The BBC has decided that he will withdraw from the submission Match of the day “Until we reach an agreed and clear position on his use of social media,” the radio said in a statement.

What did Lineker say?

Lineker took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticize The new policy of the British government To deny asylum to migrants who arrive in small boats and deport them to their home countries or so-called safe third countries.

Lineker shared a video of Home Secretary Soella Braverman speaking about the law and added, “Oh my God, this is far from terrible.”

Responding to another user, he went on to describe the measure as “an immeasurably cruel policy directed against the most vulnerable” and compared its wording to Nazi-era Germany.

Politics as convicted by opposition parties, charities and the United Nations Refugee Agency for its impact on real refugees.

Lineker has been known to be politically engaged since his playing days, but he may have become more outspoken on social media in recent years. He has come under fire from some observers in the UK – who argue he should not show political bias as a BBC sports presenter – on several similar occasions in the past.

“We’ve never said that Gary should be a no-brainer, or that he can’t have a point on issues that concern him, but we’ve said he should steer clear of taking sides on political or partisan politics,” the BBC said. in her statement.

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Lineker is also a household name in Germany due to his joke after England’s loss to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final that “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase the ball for 90 minutes and in the end the Germans always win.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, this quote mushroom.Photo: David Davies/Impex/Image Alliance

Match of the day The presenters back off

Lineker, who hosted Match of the day For more than 20 years, it would have been off the air when the show was scheduled to air on Saturdays.

The show, which has been on the air since 1964, is a roundup of extended highlights from weekend Premier League matches, usually including studio analysis led by Lineker.

After several of the show’s regular presenters, including Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas and Micah Richards, said they would not appear on the show without Lineker, the BBC said on Saturday’s edition of Match of the day Instead “focus on making the match without studio rendering or loot.”

Soon after, the six scheduled commentators for the match went on to say that they would be sitting out Saturday’s broadcast as well. They recommended that the BBC instead use World Feed commentary rather than callers playing a game.

Braverman: Compared to the Nazi “Flippant” the tragedy of the Holocaust pales in comparison

Braverman appeared on the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, which was released on Friday, and was asked about the week’s events and Lineker’s comments.

Braverman, whose husband is Jewish, said Linker crossed a line when she said her language on the issue was “no different than that used in Germany in the 1930s.”

“My husband’s family feels very strongly the impact of the Holocaust, in fact. Getting rid of these kind of false comparisons lessens the unspeakable tragedy that so many people have gone through,” Braverman said, arguing: “And I don’t think anything that’s happening in the UK today can to come close to what happened in the Holocaust. Therefore, I find it a lazy and unhelpful comparison.”

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It follows the issue, which has been raised several times in the House of Commons this week, usually by Conservative MPs.

Meanwhile, outgoing Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the BBC’s decision “inexcusable”.

The opposition Labor Party issued a statement describing the decision as “cowardly” and an “assault on freedom of expression in the face of political pressure”, concluding: “The BBC must rethink”.

Meanwhile, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Individual cases are the domain of the BBC.”

Lineker is among the most recognizable faces of the BBC worldwide

Lineker is the BBC’s highest paid presenter, with an annual hosting salary of £1.35m ($1.62m). Match of the day and other football coverage

The former Barcelona and Tottenham player was a household name before taking the reins of the country’s premier football show shortly after his retirement. It has now been a staple on British screens on Saturday nights for decades.

Lineker has hosted refugees in his home and has vocally criticized the government’s treatment of asylum seekers in the past.

He’s also branched out into other interests in recent years, including as owner of the podcast Goalhanger Network.

zc/msh (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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