Gary Lineker appears to take subtle dig at BBC with Orwell quote

Gary Lineker appears to take subtle dig at BBC with Orwell quote
Gary Lineker to return to Match of the Day as BBC apologises

Gary Lineker has updated his social media profile with a subtle nod to George Orwell, after he announced his return to Match of the Day.

The former footballer and presenter was recently told to "step back from presenting duties over his social media comments about the government's asylum policy on small boats last week.

The initial decision came after Lineker compared the government’s rhetoric surrounding the launch of the policy with 1930s Germany. The incident caused Match of the Day co-hosts and commentators to step down in solidarity, and instead viewers got a 20-minutes highlights package with no punditry and no theme music.

Lineker then posted a statement on Twitter on Monday and confirmed that he would return to his hosting duties on Saturday. The BBC confirmed the presenter will return to the corporation and internal independent review into its social media guidelines will be launched.

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Lineker wrote: “After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.”

Now, he’s included a subtle nod to Orwell in his profile picture and made a point about free speech.

The presenter shared a picture of himself alongside an Orwell quoteGetty/PA

The edited picture now sees Lineker in front of the quote from the political writer and novelist which is written on the wall outside BBC HQ.

The words are from a preface to Orwell’s novella Animal Farm and they read: “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

The edited profile picture from Lineker's profileGary Lineker/Twitter

Meanwhile, Lineker has also challenged Twitter and Elon Musk after his son received abuse on the platform.

The ex-England footballer's eldest son George Lineker shared how he's been getting abusive messages on the social media platform compared to the supportive messages he was sent on Instagram.

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