- The BBC found itself in crisis over the weekend as it tried to navigate a rebellion within its sports department.
- Gary Lineker, the organisation’s highest-paid presenter, posted a comment on Twitter on Tuesday in response to the UK’s recent immigration policy.
- The BBC considered the tweet to be in breach of strict neutrality rules.
Gary Lineker’s tweets and the BBC’s response caused a public backlash and a weekend of disrupted sports programming as fellow broadcasters walked out in protest.
Holly Adams/Stringer/Getty Images
LONDON – The BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), is trying to extricate itself from crisis mode after a mutiny within its sporting department over the use of social media.
Gary Lineker, the former English footballer turned TV host and the organisation’s highest-paid star, posted a comment on Twitter on Tuesday in response to the UK’s recent immigration policy, which the BBC deemed a breach of its neutrality rules.
The comments led to Lineker being suspended, a massive backlash and a weekend of disrupted sports programming on both TV and radio as fellow broadcasters walked out in protest.
The UK government has released a video of Home Secretary Soella Braverman explaining the new illegal immigration bill designed to stop people crossing the English Channel in small boats. Braverman said these people would be immediately repatriated to their home country or a “safe third country” such as Rwanda.
Lineker reposted the video with the caption: “Oh my God, this is far from atrocious.”
The remarks generated a whirlwind of responses across social media, prompting Lineker to post a follow-up tweet describing the bill: “an immeasurably cruel policy targeting the most vulnerable with language not unlike that used by Germany in the 1930s.”
The BBC suspended Lineker, who works as a freelance broadcaster, on Friday.
“We consider [Lineker’s] The BBC said in a statement that the recent activity on social media was in breach of our guidelines.
The BBC’s response led to strikes among Lineker’s colleagues, disrupting sports programming throughout Saturday and Sunday.
The BBC apologized for the “limited sports programmes” it was able to present in her absence – including a cut-down version of the main show Match of the Day without any commentators or panelists – and said it knew it would be “disappointing”. For BBC Sports Fans.
The BBC said: “We’ve never said that Gary should be a free-thinker, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we’ve said he should steer clear of taking sides with a partisan politician.” Political issues or disagreements.
BBC News reported on Sunday that talks between the BBC and Gary Lineker are believed to be “moving in the right direction” with the hope that the issue can be resolved soon.
Lineker may return to host Match of the Day next weekend, Based on the reports By British newspaper The Telegraph.
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