Jeremy Clarkson slams BBC for U-turn on Gary Lineker after TV return
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Jeremy Clarkson has hit out at the BBC following Gary Lineker's return to presenting Match of the Day.
Cast your minds back to a little over three weeks ago and the BBC's flagship football show was in turmoil after the broadcaster announced that their presenter would be 'stepping back' from his duties for a while.
There had been something of a controversy over some of Lineker's activity on social media, with the former footballer saying the language used by the government in their handling of the migrant crisis was 'not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the '30s'.
Lineker slammed the 'immeasurably cruel policy' and the BBC then made the announcement that he wouldn't be presenting Match of the Day that weekend.
Then Ian Wright said he wasn't going to be on the show as a pundit as an act of 'solidarity' with Lineker, and Alan Shearer said the same. Then there was a deluge of pundits and commentators chiming in to say they too wouldn't be on the show.
Even the players said they wouldn't do interviews with the show, and the BBC was forced to broadcast a 20 minute show of just the highlights and nothing else.
Lineker has since been restored to his position presenting Match of the Day and Wright denounced the BBC's handling of the whole situation as a 'hot mess'.
It wasn't just footballers who spoke out in support of Lineker, as former BBC presenter Jeremy Clarkson also weighed in on the issue to blast the broadcaster.
While this was all going on, Clarkson chipped in on social media to say he supported Lineker and commended Wright for his announcement that he wouldn't be doing the show.
Clarkson wrote a column in The Sun saying he disagreed with Lineker's opinion on the government's use of language around their immigration policies, but insisted the BBC 'can't really go around sacking people for expressing an opinion'.
He's since addressed the issue again in his latest Sun column, which largely focuses on how stupid an idea he thinks the government cracking down on laughing gas is, though he did spare a couple of lines for his former employer.
Clarkson wrote: "It seems that the BBC will in future allow Gary Lineker to air his views on climate change. Hmm.
"I’d like to bet that if I still worked there, they wouldn’t allow me to express mine."
Clarkson was fired from the BBC back in 2015 after a string of controversial incidents, the last of which was punching producer Oisin Tymon.
He had his contract terminated and went to Amazon along with co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May to make The Grand Tour.
In a column for The Times, he addressed whether he'd ever return to the BBC for more Top Gear, saying there was 'not a chance' he could go back.
He also mentioned Lineker's situation yet again in the same column, writing that the former footballer had been temporarily stood down because he had 'dared to challenge this government’s tireless resolve to treat immigration as if it’s basically a big game of snakes and ladders'.