Gary Lineker admits Match of the Day boycott by co-stars Ian Wright and Alan Shearer moved him to tears
- Lineker was removed from MOTD by BBC
- Shearer and Wright pulled out of the show as well
- Lineker reinstated after social media backlash
WHAT HAPPENED? The former England international stood down from presenting duties after he was asked to tender an apology by the BBC for comparing the language used in the British government’s asylum policy to that which could be found in 1930s Germany in a Twitter post. This triggered an unprecedented wave of walkouts by his fellow presenters and there was no commentary on offer across the BBC’s weekend football coverage in the second week of March. Shearer and Wright were among those to stand down, and Lineker has now admitted he was extremely moved by the actions of his colleagues.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "I must admit, I had a tear in my eye. It just moved me, it was beautiful. When it first happened... it's one thing saying that in a moment, but then actually to carry that through, they didn't need to do that," he told The Rest is Politics podcast.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lineker was reinstated as the host of MOTD by the BBC after the broadcasting company faced a backlash from figures across the game. They also agreed to review their existing social media guidance by calling in an independent expert, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Lineker has been presenting MOTD since 1999, after taking over from Des Lynam and is the longest-serving host in the programme’s history. He is expected to be back on presenting duties over the weekend as Premier League action is set to resume on April 1.