Lineker was asked to apologise by a domestic violence campaigner
Gary Lineker has responded to a request to apologise for a tweet he sent after the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 on Sunday that was branded “sexist”, but while acknowledging it was “rubbish”, stopped short of saying sorry.
In a new deleted tweet the The Match of the Day pundit congratulated the team for their extra-time victory after goals from Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly, but ended the message with a rather ill-advised play on words.
“The Lionesses have only gone and done it and Kelly is England’s heroine, bra none,” Lineker wrote.
Twitter users piled onto Lineker over the comment, including Karen Ingala Smith, who campaigns against domestic and sexual violence. She asked Lineker to apologise and condemn the “sexist responses to your now deleted badly judged tweet”.
Lineker instead explained that his remark was a “just a play on words given the celebration” and that he often does “rubbish like that constantly” on Twitter, including in regards to men’s football.
He went on to say he deleted the tweet as “many people didn’t see the game so missed the context”.
It was just a play on words given the celebration. I do rubbish like that constantly on here, including on men’s football. I’ve deleted it as many people didnt see the game so missed the context.
— Gary Lineker ?? (@GaryLineker) August 1, 2022
Metro suggested Lineker’s tweet may have been in reference to Chloe Kelly removing her England shirt in celebration, spinning it round over her head.
However, that appeared to be lost on, or irrelevant to, those who reacted to Lineker’s initial tweet.
Freelance journalist Flo Lloyd-Hughes replied to Lineker “Ew. From a man that has had so much power and influence and never used it to support women’s football. Yikes!”
Another person tweeted: “Seriously Gary….. biggest moment in women’s football and you choose to make a joke about her sports bra, give your head a wobble.”
Seriously Gary? An epic win, a game-changer for women's sport, a call to arms for young girls who have been told they can't. And you minimise this glory down to a joke about a women's clothing/underwear. Casual sexism is rife here and the @Lionesses deserve better!
— Ruth (@Ruth82046341) July 31, 2022
A third added: “Seriously Gary? An epic win, a game-changer for women’s sport, a call to arms for young girls who have been told they can’t. And you minimise this glory down to a joke about a women’s clothing/underwear. “Casual sexism is rife here and the @Lionesses deserve better!”
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