Gary Lineker controversy: BBC releases statement after ‘strength of feeling’ among staff


Gary Lineker
Image Source : AP Gary Lineker

Regular football programming has gone off air on BBC following their suspension of Gary Lineker who allegedly breached their social media guidelines with his tweet criticising government policy on migration. Meanwhile, Lineker has got the support from other BBC presenters, pundits and commentators with a few also refusing to host certain shows. BBC has now released a statement acknowledging the ‘strength of feeling’ among staff.

For the unversed, Gary Lineker was told to step back from presenting the iconic British Football show ‘Match of the Day’ after his controversial. However, in reaction to the step, the likes of Jason Mohammad and Alex Scott, hosts of Final Score and Football Focus respectively, refused to host their shows. Hence, both shows also had to be pulled from BBC One.

In an email to the staff, BBC’s Director of Sport, Barbara Slater, stated that the corporation understands the mindset of the staff at the moment given the controversy around. She also informed everyone that the company is hoping to resolve the situation as soon as possible. “We understand how unsettling this is for all of you – the staff in BBC Sport and our freelance community. And we understand the strength of feeling which has been generated by this issue.

“Individual heads of department and lead editors will be updating teams as and when they can, so if you have any specific questions about your role, please contact your line manager. We are working hard to resolve the situation and we will update you as soon as possible,” Ms Slater wrote in the mail.

Meanwhile, Sports Journalists Association has also voiced its support for Gary Lineker in the controversy. “The SJA would like to express its solidarity on this matter and will continue to monitor developments on the BBC and Gary Lineker story,” the association tweeted. The host of the show Football Focus, Alex Scott also recently took to Twitter stating that she ‘doesn’t feel right to host the show;.

“I made a decision last night that even though I love doing football focus and we have had an incredible week winning an SJA award that it just doesn’t feel right going ahead with the show today. Hopefully I will be back in the chair next week,” she tweeted.

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