The sign held up by a spectator, Saturday March 11, in a stand of the Selhurst Park stadium during the championship match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City, is it prescient? It read the following message: Gary Lineker Prime Minister”. A few hours earlier, at the King Power Stadium, where Leicester received Chelsea, this same Gary Lineker, local icon, had taken his place in the stands and appreciated other signs on which was written: ” I’m with Gary. Migrants are welcome.
Why all this fuss? On March 7, the person concerned had, via a tweet, underlined his indignation at the law on immigration presented by the British Conservative government. A law providing that all migrants entering the UK illegally would be automatically deported within a month of their arrival. For Lineker: An immensely cruel policy against the most vulnerable in a language not so different from that used in Germany in the 1930s”. These words earned him to be ssuspended from his duties as presenter of the legendary weekly program “Match of the day” by his employer, the BBC, where he has officiated since 1995. Immediately, the messages of support multiplied.
Shortly after his dismissal was announced, a poll showed that 53% of Britons opposed the BBC’s decision, 27% in favor and 20% with no opinion. The controversy has grown so much that the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, got involved, saying: “Gary Lineker was a great footballer and he is a talented presenter”. Result: the BBC has backtracked, Lineker will resume his post on Saturday March 18. In the meantime, he just said: “I have presented sport on the BBC for almost three decades and I am immensely proud to work for the best media in the world. I can’t wait to get back to the ‘Match of the day’ set.”. Before continuing, to close the controversy: “ We remain a tolerant, welcoming country filled with generous people. THANKS “.
“Very impatient to return to the set”
In 2016, when Lineker, a popular public figure who has never hidden his humanist commitments, clearly underlined his opposition to Brexit, no sanctions were taken against him. No punishment either when mischievous Gary, in December 2015, wrote on Twitter: “If Leicester wins the Championship, I will present ‘Match of the day’ in my underwear! »
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