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BBC Apologizes for presenter less MOTD as broadcasters unite around Lineker

lineker defiant over tweet

The BBC issues an apology after its Premier League coverage collapses due to presenter unrest regarding Gary Lineker

When asked if he had thought about leaving the company after the argument, Davie responded no, but added that he was currently in “listening mode” to try and find a solution for everyone.

I want to make sure we have a practical solution moving ahead,” he said.

Everyone wants to quietly address the matter, he continued. There is no disputing Gary Lineker’s position as the finest in the industry.

Match of the Day, the BBC’s popular Premier League highlights program, will air without a studio host or its regular lineup of pundits on Saturday night. Lineker, who has hosted the program for almost 25 years, was asked to step down after violating the broadcaster’s impartiality policies on Twitter.

Tonight’s Match of the Day will only last 20 minutes and air without presenters, pundits, or analysts in response to a day of significantly disrupted sports programming when hosts stood down in large numbers. Football players will reportedly refuse to participate in interviews, according to the football players union.

In his interview with BBC News today, Davie declined to be pressed for specifics regarding ongoing discussions within the company or if he had spoken to Lineker within the previous day.

Davie was also questioned on if he would fire other prominent presenters who had previously expressed political views in public, such as The Apprentice host Alan Sugar and documentary filmmaker Chris Packham.

The existing BBC policies, he responded, “create a separation between those people who are considered as pan-BBC figures that are different from those appearing on shows.”

We can discuss it, he continued.

After “long conversations,” during which the sportscaster was informed that his tweet equating the language surrounding UK government asylum policy with Nazi Germany was unacceptable, the BBC made the decision to remove Lineker from the well-liked highlights program public on Friday afternoon.

As a result, several analysts and experts, including Match of the Day pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, resigned in support of Lineker, while other presenters announced they would not be participating. Lineker blasted the British government’s “beyond horrible” policy to prevent tiny boats transporting asylum seekers from reaching British beaches in the widely circulated tweet.

We accept many fewer refugees than other big European countries, he continued in a subsequent tweet. This approach, which is intended against those who are most at risk, is enormously cruel, and it uses rhetoric reminiscent of that of Germany in the 1930s.

Politically diverse groups have criticized the BBC in response to Lineker’s suspension. The BBC’s decision, according to the opposition Labour party, was “cowardly” and a “attack on free expression in the face of political pressure,” they claimed on Friday.

The suspension of Lineker, according to broadcaster Piers Morgan, was “pathetically spineless.”

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, chimed in on the discussion on Saturday, expressing his hope that it might be “settled in a timely manner.”

Sunak remarked, “Gary Lineker was a fantastic footballer and is a talented presenter. “I hope the current conflict between Gary Lineker and the BBC may be addressed quickly, but it is rightly their problem, not the government,” the speaker said.

Richard Sharp, chair of the BBC, has had a difficult few weeks prior to the incident, during which time his role in negotiating a loan for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under scrutiny. Sharp’s departure, according to some experts, would be a fair trade-off to see Lineker, the BBC’s highest-paid presenter at £1.35 million ($1.62 million) annually, welcomed back into the fold.

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