Gary Lineker said he has received threats after retweeting then deleting a post that called for Israel to be banned from international sporting events, including football
The Match of the Day presenter has come under fire for retweeting the post from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
A source said that he misread the post as a statement saying that the ban had been put in place.
After saying that he received threats for his tweet, he added: “But it’s not about me. I am not the victim here.”
The presenter has come under fire for his tweets
Lineker retweeted an interview with the Israeli academic Raz Segal in which he calls Israel’s action in Gaza “textbook genocide”
Responding to this, he told The Guardian: “But it wasn’t my opinion. It was [Raz Segal’s]. I thought it was well argued and worth listening to. It’s for others to decide what they think.
“For me, what’s going on is completely distressing. It’s another reason why I find it difficult to look at social media. Because I can’t bear looking at little children being killed constantly.”
He also described social media postings on the Hamas-Israel war as “so toxic” adding: “If you lean to one side or the other, the levels of attack are extraordinary. How could it be controversial to want peace?
“I just don’t understand it. You don’t need to be Islamophobic to condemn Hamas, or anti-semitic to condemn Israel. But at the moment it’s just awful. Awful.”
Lineker was briefly suspended from presenting duties in March last year
In March last year, Lineker was briefly suspended from Match of the Day following a tweet that criticised the government’s asylum policy.
Colleagues Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Alex Scott, refused to appear on the channel in solidarity. The BBC showed the highlights from the games without commentary or presenters in the place of the programme.
Speaking to The Guardian about the tweet and supporting refugees, he said: “I worded it very carefully; I always do.
“Anything that is slightly borderline political, I put a lot of thought into…I had an agreement that I could carry on with that and climate change because for me those are humanitarian issues and they’re going to get bigger.
The 63-year-old also criticised parts of the British press, who he said were trying to “destroy” him.
He said: “We’ve got a great press and an awful press…[they are] weirdly, oddly obsessed with trying to do me. Trying to like, put me away.
“They take everything out of context. Deliberately.
“It’s almost like a game for them to try to destroy me in some way. It’s very odd.”
Gary Lineker has questioned “what is woke?”
Lineker also declined to say which way he would vote in this year’s general election.
He added that he would like to see the return of “hope” but added he he has concerns that the election will be fought on “clickbaity, nasty things” citing immigration as an example of this.
The former England striker said: “I mean, what is woke?
“Having a conscience, having a heart, having empathy? How is that a bad thing?”