Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have introduced they’re boycotting Match Of The Day this weekend over the BBC’s choice to face Gary Lineker down from the present.
The company stated on Friday that it had “decided” Lineker would take a break from presenting the highlights programme till an “agreed and clear position” on his use of social media had been reached.
Lineker, 62, has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after evaluating the language used to launch a brand new Government asylum coverage with Thirties Germany on Twitter.
The announcement by the BBC prompted pundit and former Arsenal striker Wright to tweet that he wouldn’t be showing on Saturday in “solidarity”.
“Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity,” he stated.
Former footballer and pundit Shearer adopted shortly after, tweeting: “I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.”
Retired England goalkeeper Ben Foster and Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling each expressed their help for the transfer.
Announcing the choice relating to Lineker on Friday, a spokesperson for the BBC stated the broadcaster had been “in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.
“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match Of The Day until we’ve got 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 have never said that Gary should be an opinion-free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”
It is just not but clear who will stand in for him throughout Saturday’s version of Match Of The Day.
According to Channel 5, presenter Dan Walker messaged Gary Lineker asking: “What is happening. Are you stepping back?”
Lineker responded: “No, they’ve told me I have to step back.”
Ex-BBC Newsnight host Emily Maitlis, who was herself reprimanded by the BBC for sharing a tweet the company seen as “controversial”, stated her former employer might now face a “much, much bigger battle”.
“I’m not sure when they suggested to Gary Lineker he step back from (Match Of The Day) the BBC realised it might be starting a much much bigger battle,” she tweeted.
“Ian Wright refusing to present on Saturday. In the name of solidarity.”
Labour condemned the BBC’s “cowardly decision” to face Lineker down.
A celebration supply stated: “The BBC’s cowardly decision to take Gary Lineker off air is an assault on free speech in the face of political pressure.
“Tory politicians lobbying to get people sacked for disagreeing with Government policies should be laughed at, not pandered to. The BBC should rethink their decision.”
Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy stated was “hard to see Lineker coming back now”.
The journalist tweeted: “Presumably BBC will be asked to explain which of its guidelines were broken and why other regular presenters, contributors, comedians, actors who tweet political views are not in breach.”
Piers Morgan described the BBC’s choice as “pathetically spineless”.
He added: “I now demand the BBC suspend every presenter who has made public comment about news or current affairs – starting with Sir David Attenborough and Lord Sugar.”
The row was sparked by Lineker’s response on Twitter to a Home Office video by which Home Secretary Suella Braverman unveiled the Government’s plans to cease migrants crossing the Channel on small boats.
The ex-England striker wrote: “There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.
“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s.”
It is the newest controversy to hit the company after its chairman, Richard Sharp, turned embroiled in a cronyism row over him serving to Boris Johnson safe an £800,000 mortgage facility.
BBC director-general Tim Davie warned employees about their use of social media when he took on the position on the finish of 2020, and tips round social media use have since been up to date.
Staff have been informed they should comply with editorial tips and editorial oversight in the identical method as when doing BBC content material.
Lineker is a contract broadcaster for the BBC, not a everlasting member of employees, and isn’t liable for information or political content material so doesn’t want to stick to the identical guidelines on impartiality.