Gary Lineker has been temporarily removed from his role as presenter of Match of the Day after he criticised the UK government’s new asylum policy. The BBC has stated that the show on Saturday will have no studio presenters or pundits. Regular pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have also stood down in solidarity. Alex Scott, Micah Richards and Jermaine Jenas have ruled themselves out of appearing. TalkSPORT’s Darren Bent has slammed the BBC over their decision, insisting that Lineker has been the victim of ‘cancel culture’. Simon Jordan, a fellow talkSPORT host, praised Lineker for showing courage in not backing down over his views. He urged Lineker to face the consequences if he believes in what he is saying.
Jordan stated that Lineker should not apologise because he either means it or he doesn’t. He added that too many times in football people stand up to something and when it means any sacrifice, they stand down. He cited the example of the World Cup when people wanted to wear armbands until it affected them. Jordan said that Lineker has said what he meant and meant what he says, so by definition he’s prepared to fall on his sword.
Jordan remarked that there is no pressure from Lineker’s BBC colleagues to show their support to Lineker. He said that if they subscribe to the same view as Gary Lineker, then they are entitled to have their view on it. He added that the BBC has very clear policies, and if you want to make it a divisible line and you want to stand in solidarity in something that you all believe, that’s up to them. The other guys that want to do it, they shouldn’t be vilified, people in this country have very different views, Lineker has his, and the consequences of his are that he’s fallen foul of a very clear policy.
Jordan said that no one is making Gary Lineker a victim. He added that Lineker has pointed out some very unfortunate, very clumsy language relating to something that offends not only people’s sensitivity from a certain persuasion but also makes political commentary. Jordan said that if Lineker wants to be a martyr for his own cause, he admires him for it. If he’s so convinced and so committed to the cause of making his opinion prevalent and expressing his views and using his influence, then he will take the relevant consequences.
Jordan agreed with Lineker’s views as well as the BBC’s decision. He said that it’s his view, he is entitled to his view, no one has the right not to be offended, he has a view. If that’s his view, Jordan doesn’t particularly concur with it, but he doesn’t think it’s particularly constructive. He added that the BBC speaks of hypocrisy but notwithstanding that, he thinks the BBC because they’ve been used as a political football from both sides have got to stand their ground. If Lineker believes in what he’s saying, how can he not stand his ground?
Jordan doesn’t think the BBC particularly wants to sanction Gary Lineker. He thinks they’ve been forced into it by very pressurised media and political aspirations from various sanctions. He expects them to find some accord and doesn’t expect Lineker to apologise or have to apologise. He expects him to sort of cease and desist with this going forward, and if he can’t and if he won’t, then and only then will the BBC have to solidify their position.