The Lineker v BBC saga ends in a victory for free speech

In a victory for free speech Gary Lineker will be back to work this week.

It’s an embarrassment to the UK that someone faced losing his job based on an opinion he posted on his own social media account on his day off.

That’s what happens in Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc.

It’s been a disaster for the BBC who wouldn’t be ‘reflecting’ had Lineker’s co-workers not boycotted Match Of the Day, Football Focus and Five Live programming.

The broadcaster completely misread the room, not thinking other employees or the public (thousands signed a Mirror petition for Lineker to be reinstated) would take such a stance.

To stress, not every one of his peers will believe what the 62 tweeted was accurate. The last few days were never about agreeing or not agreeing with what was being posted, it was him having the freedom to do so.

In the end the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.

The irony being the same public who fund the company couldn’t be more out of touch with each other .

Most could see this for what it was, BBC hiding behind impartiality rules .

It’s insulting to viewers to claim they have zero tolerance towards the subject.

This was the same channel who got the same Lineker to kick off their World Cup coverage with a monologue of why Qatar were not suitable hosts.

It’s okay for pundits to talk about a country’s human rights record, how they treat women, laws regarding same sex couples and how many deaths were caused by unlawful labour, but the moment they question their own nations government ….. suddenly BBC care about presenters being impartial.

Why didn’t they tell Alex Scott to remove her One Love Armband, something FIFA viewed as a political statement?

Why wasn’t Ian Wright sent home for his countless opinions on racism and players taking the knee?

You could argue these were in the confines of Sport but I can equally find you BBC personalities (including those in their Sports department) who used their online platforms to condemn the War in Ukraine, demand England be allowed to wear a Poppy, talk about Black Lives Matter, support Rashford on his critique of children going through food poverty, etc.

So what made this subject sensitive to the BBC?

This will never be publicly admitted to of course, but Lineker’s point of view is one that is not helpful to our Prime Minister and certain MP’s.

With followers in the seven figures, within seconds the ex-strikers opinion can be shared around the world within seconds.

A respected former player and face of one of the nation’s flagship shows, 10 Downing Street didn’t want him influencing that many subscribers.

Put it another way, if he had typed he agreed with the latest immigration policy he would have been working last weekend.

Because… say it out loud ….

How many personalities with a 7 figure social media platform would have the conviction to post and stick by their convictions on this subject?

A writer could submit an article with the same outlook but he or she are not getting the views that Mr Lineker is.

Someone could be on a podcast stressing the same principals but don’t have the audience.

A young reporter can have their career shut down. Lineker, a millionaire who is employed elsewhere, doesn’t need to compromise because he needs the money.

He’s a grown adult entitled to use social media what it was intended for.

Some can agree with his opinion, others can shrug their shoulders, disregard his words for what they are (one person’s view) and get on with the lives.

That’s how a society with freedom should be able to function.

That’s why the last few days is such a mini victory for free speech in the UK.

Make zero mistake, parliament were putting pressure on the BBC to suppress someone’s voice so they could dictate the narrative their way.

They quickly realised they scored an own goal with Lineker’s suspension becoming such news that suddenly more people were learning of his tweet, and therefore this policy, than would have if BBC had just ignored the post for what it was, one of many celebrity’s expressing an opinion.

He got to keep his job without having to apologise for his tweet which was BBC’s original target.

Lineker’s statement: ‘However difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away.

“It’s heart-warming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.

“We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people.”

Not a coincidence that he chose to express this on ….. Twitter!

He’s smart enough to know what he’s doing and that this was twisting the knife.

The original message that the BBC was trying to shut him down proved to be his final word.

1-0 to free speech


CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

WATCH – The Arsenal boss talks about our great game at Fulham, Trossard masterclass, Jesus’ return, and the Arsenal fans..

WATCH EVERY ONE of Mikel Arteta’s and Jonas Eidevall’s Full Press conferences by subscribing to our YouTube Channel – JustArsenalVids

Tags Gary Lineker


  1. People should be able to say whatever tyhey want within in reason.

    Although I strongly disagree with Gary’s words, he should be free to express them. Look at Sweden’s crime stats in the last 10 years to see why I disagree 🙂 just one of the many many examples.

    1. There was never any question that Lineker would be back on air. The BBC are a left wing, liberal organization, so this was merely a posturing exercise to appease those who disagree with Lineker’s champagne liberal talking points.
      I personally can’t stand the bloke but he most definitely has the right to his own opinions and free speech.
      The issue was always impartiality, a trait that neither Lineker or the BBC generally adhere to.
      I would have missed Wrighty but Match of the Day was fine on Saturday. They should have left it that way.

  2. I’m somewhere in between on this subject as there will always be anomalies.

    Lineker clearly has strong views on those seeking refuge from war or persecution.

    Looking at our multi cultural society, the UK has accepted a huge array of people to our shores over many years and I am pretty confident we will continue to do so.

    GL did not make a distinction between those seeking a safe haven and economic migrants who want a piece of the good life without just cause, coming as they do from safe countries.

    Comparing the policy to what happened to the Jewish and Roma people in 1930’s Germany is just a tad wide of the mark but it’s his right to enjoy his freedom of speech with his millions of followers

    Now, the very organisation- Twitter- who he was so happy to engage with and to get his sage words out there, have now allowed the right of free speech to all the trolls who have now been attacking Lineker’s son.

    1. SueP, if you refer back to Gary Lineker’ s original statement, he did not compare “the policy to what happened to the Jewish and Roma people in 1930’s Germany”, but the rhetoric expoused by the governments concerned in both cases. This is a critical distinction.

  3. Celebration and jubilation for Arsenal fans worldwide. They are the 2022/23 EPL Champions. I said this months ago when people still doubted. Lose or win come the end of May they will be on top. In the realms Arsenal is wearing the crown of victory.

    1. This is more of destiny and not even Arteta can change it. He is just playing his role to that effect. The end will prove everything so we shall see come May.

    2. When did you say it so I can go back and verify? You always come after things have happened to say you Nostradamused them.

      Give at least which month you said and I will check all articles to verify.

      1. I said it months back when it wasn’t obvious though we were still 1st on the table. It was a prophecy from a vision where the whole Arsenal team were celebrating the trophy and Man City were looking on disappointed. Logically Arsenal shouldn’t be winning the EPL so it’s not a guess. Even many Arsenal fans still think we may finish 2nd but I tell you in May we will be 1st.

  4. The idiocy of the government to pressure BBC to cancel Lineker has backfired soo spectacularly that i question whether they even have a bloody PR department in place. Surely it wasn’t rocket science to anticipate that Lineker refusal to stand down would have blown the whole thing out of proportion.

    Lineker tweet would have been talked about for a few days then everybody have moved on to the newest gossip in town. Now everybody and their dog have been alerted to it.

  5. He could’ve sued his employer, if he had solid proofs. That would be the power of his free speech and I guess BBC wanted to avoid that

    This should also apply to other sports figures who liked to spit out political messages, such as Guardiola, Pique and Ozil. They were free to sue the governments and employers, based on free speech rights in developed countries

  6. If only doctors and scientists opinions backed up with masses of evidence in regards to saving lives, were allowed the same freedom of speech!

    Oh well, I guess a rich sports presenters delusional, false and dangerous opinions are worth keeping up…censor the rest!

  7. This is what you’ve been debating

    What the law says
    This text is taken directly from the Human Rights Act.

    Article 10 of the Human Rights Act: Freedom of expression

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

    2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

  8. A guy lost his job during BLM marches by saying the opposite of black on his banner. Would both sides of that not fall under the same free speech, even though you believe one side is trying to be underhanded

    1. I would imagine that if there was a clause in his contract of employment that forbade such expression for some particular reason he could legally be dismissed, but he still never the less had a legal right to express it under Article 10 (above). He just would have been a bit of a mug knowing what the likely outcome would be.

      1. Perhaps if it impacted on his employer in a particularly negative manner. My employment contract in my last job included such a clause about any actions I took which showed them in a bad light.

  9. I dont agree w Gary or the BBC….

    Because neither side seems to care to fix this issue from its roots.

    One side wants to stop the immigrants from coming, the other side wants them to be allowed in…

    Where is the conversation about stopping the military complex from creating these immigrants by bombing them? or the conversation about building self suficient communities for them so they stay in their homeland?

    To me this is a prime example of controlled dialogue… the actual common sense and right thing to do is ignored while the plebs fight over which is the wrong thing to do which is better.

    As usual, i stay out of that insanity… so I am against both, Gary and the BBC.

    Just as I think Brexit is insane, I am against pro and pro, both sides are being played.

    1. But this isn’t about who’s opinion is right or wrong, but about Linekers right to express his opinion without interference or censure by the BBC.

  10. I support Gary’s right to freedom of speech 100 %

    I support the government’s plan to reduce channel crossing. In my opinion we need to be tough on all aspects of immigration/asylum seeking. We should take our fair share of asylum seekers but no more and we should do whatever we can to stop Human trafficking

    BUT I totally support freedom of speech and everyone’s right to disagree

    1. Stephanie
      I also believe in freedom of speech as long as it is not harmful of detrimental to other people’s well being
      As for the government
      The same government who have done worse then anyone to control
      immigration since being in power and blame everyone else bar them selves
      The same government who forgot to enforce the return to safe first country agreement on exit of brexit
      The same government who cant process quick enough and have to house them for years.
      I don’t want get political on what ever party but it is all very boring.. they all talk the talk but can’t walk the walk
      Define tough on asylum seekers and take our fair share from war torn countries. As human beings we have a duty of care to the weak to the vulnerable to people who are not in a position to help them self’s
      When will the world learn its not about quotas
      It’s about doing the right thing in life
      It disappoints me to hear and read still in this day and age that as decent human beings we can not find a solution as nations to help these people..
      Let’s leave them at sea, sink the boats, don’t let them on our shores or even let them on to our shores and then send them to Rwanda… heads gone!
      Onwards and upwards

  11. The total hypocrisy of the BBC has been bared for all to see.
    The BBC has degenerated from the dark days of World War II, when the people of Europe tuned in, at great personal risk, to hear the successes and failures (although still censored) of progress of the War.

    1. Shame to see, and an eye opener to how bad things could get when looking at how America’s news and social media work hand-in-hand with the government – enforcing it’s narratives, propaganda and censorship.

      As factually wrong and disgusting as Gary was, the BBC comes out worse on this. Gary badly needs some history lessons though.

  12. Attacks on Lineker, attacks on the Beeb, attacks on the UK government. Just shows how toxic a mob of often misinformed footy fans can be.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors