Gary Lineker has challenged Twitter boss Elon Musk over a threatening message sent to his son in the wake of the TV presenter’s row with the BBC.
The Match Of The Day (MOTD) host – who was reinstated on Monday – tweeted a screenshot of a private message sent by a user describing his eldest son, George, as a “mug” who needed to be “burned at the stake” for defending his father.
Lineker wrote with the image: “Is this acceptable @Twitter @elonmusk? And I don’t mean the grammar.”
Earlier in the day, George had tweeted: “Social media’s mad isn’t it. Over the last few days, on insta – never had so many nice messages. On Twitter – never had so much abuse.
“It’s not even anything to do with me.”
Lineker was suspended by the BBC for his tweets criticising the government’s migration policy.
It has now agreed to allow the former England footballer back on air this weekend, with the BBC’s director-general Tim Davie denying it amounted to a climbdown by the corporation.
An independent review will now look into its social media usage guidelines.
However, some Tory MPs are furious at the decision, saying it allows Lineker “carte blanche” to say what he likes on social media, despite Mr Davie insisting until the review is published, the presenter will “abide by the editorial guidelines”.
Lineker has since started tweeting again about the plight of refugees, writing: “However difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away.”
The 62-year-old has also thanked his fellow presenters and pundits for their “remarkable show of solidarity” after a number pulled out of BBC shows at the weekend.
In response to his father’s messages, George tweeted a goat emoji – often used to signify G.O.A.T, meaning Greatest Of All Time for sportspeople. He later wrote: “Nice work Gaz.”
Lineker was taken off air for a tweet comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum seeker policy with that of 1930s Nazi Germany.
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Football coverage on BBC TV and radio was affected as pundits, presenters and reporters – including Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Alex Scott – joined a walkout.
The BBC subsequently apologised and reinstated Lineker as host of MOTD.
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In a statement yesterday, Mr Davie said: “Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this.
“The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.”