The BBC's popular sports show Match of the Day, which airs on Saturday, will be without presenters and pundits in the studio tonight. This decision comes after presenter Gary Lineker was suspended for his comments against the government's anti-immigrant policies on Twitter, and all other pundits and commentators associated with the show refused to take part in solidarity with the presenter.
Popular presenter and former football star Gary Lineker tweeted after Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced plans for legislation to arrest and deport illegal migrants across the Channel and deny them the right to apply for asylum in Parliament that "the measure is immeasurable cruel policy towards the most vulnerable people in a language not dissimilar to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s".
Although Lineker expressed his opinion on Twitter rather than using the BBC directly, he has been accused of bias because he is a public figure and associated with the media.
BBC management said it "considers Lineker's recent social media appearances to be in breach of the corporation's guidelines". It believes that the presenter should refrain from taking sides on partisan political issues or engaging in political disputes.
There is a lot of opposition to the government's legislation from opposition MPs, human rights activists and charities.
Many believe that the BBC management bowed to pressure to remove Lineker.
Many of the football pundits who normally appear on Match of the Day have now pulled out in solidarity with Lineker. Among them are such big names as Alan Shearer and Ian Wright.
The management of the BBC still decided that the show should be broadcast, but without presenters and pundits, only with commentary from the Premier League matches themselves.
The media recall that Lineker, who is not the first to take a stance on pressing issues, has previously defended his right to speak about things he believes are important to him with his nearly 9 million followers. It is also recalled that Lineker personally welcomed refugees into his home and spoke passionately about the need to protect people in need who come to the country./BNR