GARY Lineker’s sympathies are well known.
So, too, his sporting prowess.
As the highest paid presenter in the BBC, he clearly feels he can say what he likes and get away with it.
Let’s not forget his views on Qatar’s human rights, a new Brexit referendum and Russian donors, to name but three.
The Prime Minister was right to tell the BBC to resolve the dispute that arose after Mr Lineker compared the Government’s asylum policy with Nazi Germany’s early rhetoric against the Jews.
In my book, this tweet was not only offensive, but inevitably questioned the BBC’s impartiality.
The broadcaster’s policy for news staff is much clearer than it is for self-employed presenters.
However, if you are paid by the BBC, and in Mr Lineker’s case handsomely, you should be constrained from commenting politically.
Mr Lineker is a football icon and popular with many.
However, I note that the viewing figures for Match of the Day rose by half a million when Mr Lineker was temporarily taken off air.
Perhaps he should stick to sport while in the pay of the BBC.
In a further irony, it is now the Director General whose job is at risk and not Mr Lineker’s.
With pressures to end the licence fee, this saga does not help the broadcaster’s image or its reputation for being impartial.
And I am not surprised at reports that many BBC staff disagree with Mr Lineker.
Most of those I worked with had great respect for the corporation’s integrity and resented the vast salaries paid to stars.
Even today, while local BBC services face cutbacks, the generous packages for those like Mr Lineker continue.
No one is indispensable and he should take note of that.