Gary Lineker comes under fire for comments on Jamie Vardy racism controversy
Published 12/04/2016 | 11:06
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has reluctantly offered his views on the racism storm that engulfed Leicester striker Jamie Vardy last summer, with his comments sparking criticism on Twitter.
Vardy was caught on camera offering racial slurs in the direction of fellow casino goer in what developed into an angry exchange, which was followed by a full apology from the Leicester hit-man.
Now the story has been brought back to prominence after Lineker gave his views in an interview with the Guardian.
“People make mistakes. They say stupid things. He did it and he apologised,” stated Lineker.
“I think it depends on how you say it, and where you say it, but I know footballers, and they are generally really not racist at all. I’ve heard things said on football pitches that players clearly don’t mean, whether it’s racism or just an abusive comment in the heat of the moment.
“Fundamentally, footballers don’t look around a dressing room and think: ‘He’s a black player ... he’s Japanese.’ They don’t think like that. They think: ‘He’s a good player, he can help, he’s not very good.’
“I’m not trying to defend anyone’s actions, but there are going to be isolated incidents because it’s an emotive, passionate sport.”
Lineker’s comments have sparked an angry reaction on Twitter, amid suggestions that his generalisations suggesting footballers are “really not racist at all” was hard to justify:
Gary Lineker effectively excuses Vardy's racism on the basis that "people say stupid things".— Dave Phillips (@lovefutebol) April 11, 2016
For someone critical of Sepp Blatter, Lineker's comment here about racism reflect the actual internal problem of it. https://t.co/F4oIwJpNgT— Dr Jamie Cleland (@drjamiecleland) April 11, 2016