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Jackie Lefton

We, the undersigned, call on the BBC to review Gary Lineker’s contract following his repeated political outbursts about Israel and Gaza.

 

Most recently, he gave an interview to Medhi Hassan (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/05/12/lineker-appears-to-call-oct-7-attacks-the-hamas-thing/) where he appeared to minimise the October 7th Hamas attacks as

“the Hamas thing”, whilst falsely stating of the war in Gaza “I can’t think of anything that I’ve seen worse in my lifetime”. This statement is absurd hyperbole given that Mr Lineker was born in 1960 and has hence lived through major wars such as Vietnam, Iraq, Iran-Iraq, the Soviet and Western interventions in Afghanistan, and the Syrian Civil War, all of which have cost hundreds of thousands, in some cases millions, of lives.

 

We do not believe that it is compatible with Mr Lineker’s role as a presenter on Match of the Day, and hence an employee of our national public broadcaster, which is supposed to be politically impartial, for him to take such outspoken stances.

 

It uses his platform as an iconic BBC sports commentator to normalise stances that are then picked up uncritically by a very wide audience.

 

We urge the BBC to respect its own guidelines around impartiality and balance and not allow its key presenters to promote their own contentious political stances.

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