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The BBC Reversed Its Controversial Decision to Suspend Gary Lineker Over a Tweet

LONDON — Gary Lineker will return to airwaves after the BBC reversed the former soccer great’s suspension on Monday for a post on Twitter that had criticized the British government’s new asylum policy.

“Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend,” BBC director general Tim Davie said.

Britain’s national broadcaster was forced to scrap much of its weekend sports programming after commentators, analysts and Premier League players refused to appear as a show of support of Lineker.

Lineker, one of English soccer’s most lauded players and the corporation’s highest-paid television presenter, was suspended Friday after he compared the Conservative government’s language about migrants to that used in Nazi Germany. The BBC said the tweet breached its impartiality rules, but critics accused it of suppressing free speech.

Davie said there would be an independent review of the BBC’s social media rules to address the “gray areas” in the guidelines.

Read More: ‘Maximum Suffering.’ A Man Stripped of His Citizenship Sheds Light on the Potential Impact of the U.K.’s Nationality Bill

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