The BBC has said that sports presenter Gary Lineker will return to the air after the corporation agreed to review its social media guidelines to resolve a growing dispute over his impartiality.
They were forced to remove much of their sports coverage over the weekend after newscasters, pundits and commentators refused to work in a show of solidarity with Lineker, who criticized the government’s immigration policy.
The publicly funded BBC had suspended Lineker for breaching its impartiality rules by comparing the rhetoric of Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman to language used in 1930s Germany.
He said on Monday he would carry out a review of how presenters can use social media, including freelancers outside of news and current affairs such as Lineker, the former England soccer captain who hosts the flagship moments show. highlights of the Premier League Match of the Day.
lineker tweeted as the news broke, thanking everyone for their support.
After a surreal few days, I am delighted that we have navigated this path. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Soccer is a team game, but their support was overwhelming. 1/4
—Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 13, 2023
“I have been presenting sports on the BBC for almost three decades and I am immensely proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world,” he said.
“A final thought: as difficult as the last few days have been, they simply do not compare to having to flee home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a faraway land. It is heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight by part of many of you”.
BBC director general Tim Davie said in a statement on Monday that Lineker was a valuable part of the BBC. “I hope you will present our coverage next weekend,” he said.
Lineker said: “In addition, I would like to thank Tim Davie for his understanding during this difficult period. He has an almost impossible job of keeping everyone happy, particularly in the area of fairness. I am delighted that we continue to fight the good fight, together”.