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Gary Lineker and the BBC: My Opinion

Greg Devine


Gary Lineker on the wall of BBC

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Dominating the news in the past week, Gary Lineker made some tweets, people became unhappy and Match Of The Day went on strike. Let's all just take a minute to breathe here. People are losing their minds over this. Members of parliament are debating it. Why?!

I’m sorry but for me this has all been blown so far out of proportion. Instead of someone saying Gary is entitled to his opinion, he probably shouldn’t have made the reference to 1930s Germany we are instead left with this huge debate surrounding impartiality within the BBC and free speech. I’ll start with free speech. No one is being censored, it's just an excuse to be annoyed about something these days. Want to protest something? Claim you no longer have free speech. These are adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s, do you not have better things to do? Maybe go to work or even better find a hobby that doesn’t involve finding something to be angry about. It's becoming so tiring and boring when it's all the dominates the news. As my Grandma would say “pack it in now you’re just being silly”.

Gary Lineker at Asian Awards Show

Moving on to Gary Lineker. Whilst I thought his original tweet hadn’t been removed, upon checking his twitter now I can’t find it. This might have been something to do with an agreement between him and the BBC that they have reached today as I write this. Gary, like anybody else, is entitled to his opinion. People can choose to agree with Gary or not. The issue is people can’t just read a tweet, think “yeah not sure I agree with that” and then just leave it. Everybody has to bite back. Think back to school or even at work. When someone is talking complete rubbish do you kick and scream back at them or do you just ignore them because what they’re saying is total gobble. Of course the vast majority of us will just roll our eyes and carry on with our days. Sadly that’s not how twitter works.

I’ve heard calls for Gary to be sacked as he’s breached impartiality. Gary isn’t a journalist, he’s a sports presenter. He’s tweeting off a personal account. You can say he’s synonymous with the BBC but I’ve never once thought of Lineker and linked him to the news or politics. He’s just a presenter and a legendary footballer. The only time Gary has actually been impartial is when Leicester City won the league and he celebrated. Now as a BBC Sport presenter he shouldn’t have a favourite team. The difference being no one cares because back in 2017 we all had a lot more common sense then we do now.

BBC Logo

I do have to question the BBC in this instance. I really don’t care for the BBC in all honesty. I can’t say I really watch it or use its services any more than once every week and even then it's unlikely. They should be an impartial channel but for me they’re not. They never challenged the Government during COVID which for me left a really bitter taste in the mouth. I would instead always choose ITV in lockdown for the news because it felt more designed for me than the BBC. I do wonder if Gary had instead criticised a Keir Starmer Government if the same uproar would’ve come about. I somehow doubt it. This isn’t me being a “woke lefty” I’m not, my political views lie much more central because I’m rational about things and use football to get my natural need of anger and togetherness out. I use football because it’s a game and doesn’t really mean much. Politics does mean something. This is people’s lives. You can’t use this as a stress ball.

All this whole situation has shown is how divided we are as a country. I’ve not even given my opinion on the Migrant and immigration debate currently going on because sadly this has taken over the news. Not the actual bill and new laws that should be making the news. Instead a tweet by a former professional footballer. What have we come to?

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