Eamon Dunphy says Gary Lineker’s migrant tweets ‘outrageous’ and ‘insulting’
‘They are right-wing s**gs and sleazeballs, but they cannot be compared to the Nazis’
Eamon Dunphy has accused Gary Lineker of “attention seeking” over his comments about the UK government’s migrant policy.
Match of the Day host Lineker (62), has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum policy with 1930s Germany on Twitter.
Lineker tweeted that the Conservative government’s migrant policy is an “immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s”.
Pundit-turned-podcaster Dunphy was known for speaking his mind during his heyday covering the Premier League and Irish football on RTÉ.
On his podcast, The Stand, Dunphy regularly criticises the Conservative government’s policies, including its migrant policy, but he has insisted that Lineker was wrong and that his comments were hurtful to the Jewish people.
“There is no doubt that the Tory Government are loathsome. They are right-wing s**gs and sleazeballs, but they cannot be compared to the Nazis,” Dunphy told the Irish Daily Star.
“It was stupid of Gary Lineker to make that comparison as it diminishes the real horror of what the Jewish people went through at the hands of the Nazis.
“He has been outspoken on social media before but this time he has gone over the top. It was outrageous and provocative. I think it was attention seeking.”
“I’m all for free speech and I don’t like to see people being censored, but in this case what Lineker has posted was an insult to the Jewish people.”
Former England striker Lineker refused to withdraw his remarks and later the BBC said it had “decided” he would take a break from presenting the highlights programme until an “agreed and clear position” on his use of social media had been reached.
Since then, other notable MOTD pundits including Ian Wright and Alan Shearer said they would not appear on the programme without Lineker. Several of the show’s commentators also said they would be stepping down from this evening’s broadcast.
The BBC said the show would “focus on match action without studio presentation or punditry”, saying it understood the position of its presenters.
A host of other BBC sport presenters and pundits who were due to work today also stood down at the last minute, in solidarity with Lineker, leading to programmes like Football Focus and Final Score being pulled from the schedule at the last minute.
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