On Saturday, almost all of the public service BBC’s sports programming was left without presenters and crew, after one by one staff pulled out of the show. The reason: BBC Television suspended Gary Lineker’s appointment as presenter the day before, after the former football star in one of his tweets strongly condemned the British Conservative government’s immigration bill. According to Lineker, the draft is harsh and its language is no different from the language used in Germany in the 1930s. According to the draft, it would be legally binding to deport all those who come onto British soil illegally by touching safe countries; Those who cross the UK border illegally are permanently banned from returning to Britain.
The BBC asked Lineker to step back from presenting Match of the Day (MOTD), the weekend televised football magazine he had hosted for nearly a quarter of a century, so that there would be a “clear position” on “how he uses” social media. platforms. According to the BBC, Lineker’s Twitter post violated neutrality requirements set out in the media company’s editorial guidelines.
Gary Lineker is a legendary figure in English football, he played 80 times for the England national team, and was also a player for Everton, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur. MOTD has run on the BBC since 1964, and Lineker is the longest-serving presenter in the programme’s history, since 1999.
His comment caused an extraordinary stir. The other two Match of the Day presenters, also former football stars Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, have announced that they too will not be taking part in the upcoming program scheduled for Saturday, out of solidarity. They were later joined by all the other BBC television and radio sports broadcasters, forcing BBC Radio 5 Live, a popular channel, to cancel football matches and broadcast pre-recorded programmes. Match of the Day is shown on Saturday evenings without the help of commentators and analysts, but only with brief pictures of matches.
The Premier League has called on players and coaches to boycott the BBC, and Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the Confederation of British Journalists (National Union of Journalists), described Lineker’s comment as “a huge personal take”. He added that the BBC was behaving in a “stupid and dangerous” way to give in to political pressure to this extent.
It wasn’t the only misstep by the BBC this week. The company decided not to broadcast an episode of David Attenborough’s new series on television because it feared backlash from Tory politicians and the right-wing press. 444. Therefore, the episode will only be available on iPlayer. Attenborough is preparing a series about the natural values of the British Isles – this will be his last TV programme. The first five episodes will be shown in prime time on the channel, and the final episode, which is about the UK’s natural losses, will not air. In the episode, Attenborough shows how farming has damaged British nature. The Telegraph has already attacked the BBC for broadcasting a series that was funded by organizations that have previously been criticized for their lobbying activities, specifically the WWF and the RSPB, a British bird conservation organisation.
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