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Gary Lineker says he suffered ‘racist abuse’ during football career because of his ‘darkish skin’

Gary Lineker claims he was ‘racially abused’ by other players during his football career because of his ‘dark skin’, despite being ‘as English as they come’

  • Lineker, 61, made the surprising comments on a performance podcast
  • He said his ‘dark skin’ made him a target at school for taunting vicious bullies
  • But he also added that he was racially abused twice during his football career

Gary Lineker has revealed that he was racially abused by other players during his football career because of his “dark skin”.

The Match of the Day presenter, 61, said he had been a “little geeky kid” who was the first to be subjected to the unacceptable taunts at school.

But in a surprising comment, he revealed that he was racially abused later in life, as well as being a professional footballer.

And in hinting that the racism came from well-known figures in the sport, he insisted he “wouldn’t name names.”

Lineker – an English football legend – also said he was ‘As English as they come’.

He told the High Performance Podcast: “Without being good at sports, life would have been very different for me because I was, I think I would have been bullied in school, I was kind of that way anyway because I was so a little nerd was a dark skinned kid and I had quite a bit of racist abuse, although I’m not, I’m as English as they come All the time, all the time.

‘Even in professional football I’ve had that a few times, I would never name names.

Lineker said he was racially abused during his football career but wouldn't 'name names'

Lineker said he was racially abused during his football career but wouldn’t ‘name names’

Gary Lineker said his 'dark skin' made him a target at school for taunting vicious bullies

Gary Lineker said his ‘dark skin’ made him a target at school for taunting vicious bullies

“So I got that kind of crap, that was kind of weird.

“Whether that was part of something that made me, I don’t know, but other people may not be able to handle that.”

Always speaking out against racism, Lineker joined leading sports stars, clubs and organizations for a four-day social media blackout in April last year to tackle abuse and discrimination.

The joint boycott of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram continued for a weekend.

Lineker, 61, made the surprising commentary on a weekend gigging podcast

Lineker, 61, made the surprising commentary on a weekend gigging podcast

Lineker’s ex-wife Danielle spoke about her own Indian heritage in 2015.

Her grandfather was Indian, born in an area of ​​Bengal that would become Pakistan after partition in 1947.

She said his legacy sometimes had a difficult impact during her childhood in Cardiff.

Danielle said at the time, “Nobody’s guessing now — they just think I’m wearing fake tan — but as a kid I was aware that I looked slightly different from other kids at school,” she says. ‘I would ask my mother why my skin was darker than theirs.

“I was often referred to as ‘Paki’ in school, which I now realize was just kids who were kids – they pick up on everything else – but when I was six or seven it was hard. I cried to my mother when I asked her why I was different.

“My grandmother kept my grandfather’s memory alive by cooking Indian food and watching Bollywood movies with me, but for a long time I wasn’t really interested. I didn’t see my heritage as something positive – I just wanted to be the same as everyone else.’

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