On Friday, a number of pundits on BBC Match of the Day announced they would not partake on the weekend in support of Gary Lineker. BBC suspended the host of the show and former England striker for comments breaching impartiality against the British government.
Lineker criticized UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s take on the asylum policy. BBC said it would talk to Lineker about expressing his personal political opinions. Although, he kept this on social media, clearly expressing that they were his views, not those of his employers at the BBC. Lineker stated his support for refugees in the past and how he will continue to speak on the topic on his own accord.
In response to Lineker’s suspension, the other pundits on BBC MOTD voiced heavy support for the host. Alan Shearer and Ian Wright both informed the BBC that they will not be on the studio show this week. Wright even expressed how much the show means to him, perhaps accentuating the impact of his decision.
Both Wright and Shearer received praise for their decisions on Twitter.
For now, the changes to BBC Match of the Day are temporary, and Lineker could return to the show as soon as next week. However, some analysts think his commentary on Twitter could cost him his job.
BBC Match of the Day to look different without Lineker, Wright, Shearer
In response to the three pundits stepping away, BBC and Match of the Day announced there will be no studio conversation. Instead, the content for the show will be strictly game-driven.
Of course, for readers in the United States, BBC Match of the Day is somewhat hard to find, particularly without a VPN, or virtual private network. However, this is not the first occassion where pundits in other countries spoke out against policies they disagree with, while those in the United States remained silent.
Consider the 2022 World Cup. BBC, including Gary Lineker, opened their World Cup coverage by clarifying the human rights abuses in Qatar and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and migrant workers. In the United States coverage on FOX, there was no mention.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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