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The BBC are lucky Gary Lineker loves Match of the Day - nobody would've blamed him for walking away

By trying to censor the former England international, the UK's national broadcaster has sparked a debate on its own impartiality

In his own Twitter profile, Gary Lineker describes himself as someone who "once kicked a ball about" – but now talks "about kicking a ball about". The BBC has long been happy to pay Lineker quite a lot of money to do the latter.

What has upset the broadcaster, though, is the Match of the Day presenter’s willingness to talk about other, more important things. Like immigration.

The BBC, you see, likes to view itself as impartial, and so it felt compelled to suspend Lineker last week after he refused to apologise for comparing the language used in laying out the government's new plan on asylum-seekers to "that used by Germany in the 30s".

Did everyone agree with Lineker? Not at all. Did some feel his comparison was over the top? Absolutely. But both questions are utterly irrelevant, really.

The only question is whether Lineker and other BBC employees and freelancers should be free to express their own private opinions on human rights issues their own social media accounts.

And the answer is obviously yes.

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