Newcastle United hero Alan Shearer has joined Ian Wright in withdrawing from this week's Match of the Day (MOTD) in solidarity with presenter Gary Lineker, who is embroiled in a spat with the BBC over his social media usage.
Lineker upset Home Secretary Suella Braverman by likening the government's latest asylum policy to Nazi Germany in a Tweet posted this week. He then doubled down on the comments which, according to a BBC spokesperson, breached editorial guidelines.
The broadcaster released a statement on Friday outlining that Lineker will take a step back from his presenting duties. 'Extensive talks' had supposedly taken place to try and reach an agreement on the former England star's social media use.
Fellow MOTD stalwart Wright subsequently withdrew in 'solidarity' with Lineker, while Shearer's decision came shortly afterwards as he Tweeted: "I have informed the BBC that I won't be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night."
Sky News claim that Lineker believes the wording of the BBC statement to be incorrect as he did not agree to step back, but rather they have taken him off air due to an unwillingness to apologise or admit he should not have made the comments.
The BBC statement also included: "When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none. We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can't have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies."
Arsenal fan Piers Morgan has also been vocal on the issue, Tweeting: "Gary Lineker should tell the BBC to go f*** themselves, as I told ITV to over the [Meghan] Markle debacle. Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy - the moment Britons agree to be told what we’re allowed to say or think, democracy dies."
Earlier in the day, Morgan wrote: "Memo to anyone who now agrees to present MOTD tomorrow: we'll see you, and we'll judge you accordingly." The BBC refused to add further comment when approached by Express Sport.