In an interview with The Guardian, there’s a surprise, the Match of the Day star Gary Lineker spoke about being attacked for his political opinions.
Whilst I abhor and condemn anything vicious or threatening that may have been said to old Gaz, I’ve had my fair share as well, If you’re going to put yourself out there with strong and at times divisive opinions you must accept a little bit of pushback.
Saint Gary doesn’t like that. In the last 24 hours, he has used his huge public platform to threaten someone with libel for daring to say that he received money from Qatar for his World Cup coverage. Qatar, of course, being a hateful regime that treats women like second-class citizens, backs the terror group Hamas and jails gay people.
Now top comedy writer Lee Kern, the man behind hit movies like the hilarious Borat, found himself in hot water with Lineka after criticizing his double standards. Lineka shot back, tweeting the following: “I have temporarily unblocked you to let you know that your tweet is libelous. I didn’t take a penny, a pound, a rial, or anything else from Qatar for the World Cup. I work for the BBC and the BBC alone. I suggest you delete your inflammatory lies immediately.”
This is a little confusing, isn’t it? First of all, fronting the World Cup in Qatar for the BBC still isn’t a great look, is it, For a man who wears his woke credentials on his sleeve? If he hates sexism, if he hates racism, if he hates homophobia, would he want to be in any way associated with this tyrannical regime? And it’s twisted medieval values whilst broadcasting on the BBC. And did this famous eco-warrior who is so concerned about global warming and is Greta Thunberg’s number one fan, Did he not think twice about jumping on a plane to fly to the Middle East to present shows in the air-conditioned stadium in the desert?
As well as criticizing Lineker’s position on Israel, the BBC star has had to delete a recent retweet that called for Israel to be banned from major sporting events. Lee Kirn makes some other quite compelling points about Saint Gary.
Lee Kirn wrote: “Gary Lineker inhabits a world of zero risks, zero threat and zero danger. He’s a multi-millionaire member of Britain’s media class. In the game of identity politics, he is as immune from struggle as it’s possible to be. Lineker lives where words are just a game to impress his smug, chattering class media friends. For Lineker, it’s simply a game of words, a peacocking vanity, a warm bath of righteousness that he slips into with zero consequences, always in his Knight’s armor but never going into battle.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself. You can see why he’s a top writer. The truth is, I’ve always thought that you judge a person by their actions, not their words, and Lineker’s Mr. Nice Guy image doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in my book.
This is a guy who sells junk food to kids. Now, crisps are delicious, but they’re not good for you, especially youngsters. He presumably would like the government to spend more money on public services, given that he’s identifiably on the political left. And yet he successfully battled HMRC in court to reduce his tax bill by over £4 million by clarifying that he was a contractor to the BBC, not an employee.
Just think how many school teachers or nurses that 4 million odd quid would pay for, or how much refugee accommodation that would provide. Whatever his worldview is, rest assured that Gary won’t be impacted as he mocks his employers and continues to tweet from the luxury of his London mansion.
He might have the money thanks to a hefty license fee income courtesy of you and me, but the rest of Britain can’t afford Gary’s luxury opinions.
Violent or vicious attacks on this former football ace are appalling and deeply wrong. But be clear, Gary Lineker is no victim.