*Former England and Tottenham footballer Gary Lineker has claimed he suffered “racist abuse” in his professional career from fellow footballers due to his “darkish skin”.
Lineker, 61, who is white, told the High Performance Podcast: “Without being good at sport, life would have been very different for me because I was, I think I would have been bullied at school, I was kind of marginally that way anyway because I was this tiny geeky kid, with darkish skin and I had pretty much racist abuse although I’m not, I’m as English as they come. All the time, all the time.
“Even in professional football I had that a couple of times, I wouldn’t ever name any names,” he added.
“So I got that kind of nonsense, which was a bit weird,” he continued, as reported by Daily Mail. “Whether that was part of something that made me, I don’t know, but other people might not be able to handle that,” said Lineker.
Per the Metro, his “English as they come” phrase sparked criticism from some social media users who thought he was equating Englishness with whiteness.
Following his comments, deputy leader of the Reclaim Party, Martin Daubney, took aim at Lineker during an appearance on right-wing political broadcaster GB News. He said: “Lineker is a man who is taking on every form of victimhood possible, even when it’s clearly ludicrous.”
He added: “Lineker is the ultimate hypocrite and I wish he just put one of his football socks in his gob.”
As reported by Sport Bible, Lineker has used his platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement and athletes taking a knee before matches in the Premier League.
‘Lineker is the ultimate hypocrite and I wish he just put one of his football socks in his gob’
Deputy leader of the Reclaim Party Martin Daubney takes aim at former England striker and broadcaster Gary Lineker, after he claimed he suffered racist abuse over his ‘darkish skin.’ pic.twitter.com/ARaoDec5vM
— GB News (@GBNEWS) June 21, 2022