Gary Lineker stated that “providing a new start” represents “the best of Britain’s values” as he prepares to welcome a refugee in his home. The Match Of The Day host is waiting for his application to house a refugee to be approved.
Some on the right, however, have accused the host of “virtue signalling”. Others have pointed out the hypocrisy of their position.
“I have been thinking of doing something like that for a while,” Linekar told the Daily Mirror.
“My kids are all grown up so I’ve got plenty of room so if I can help on a temporary basis then I’m more than happy to do so. Why not?”
Providing a new start to those who‘ve fled their homes represents the best of Britain's values. As we know refugees have always helped to keep our communities safe and make our society stronger. They even brought us fish & chips. Im standing with @RESCUE_UK to #StandWithRefugees pic.twitter.com/9zN9EeEmTQ
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 3, 2020
He’s been in touch with charity Refugees At Home, according to the report, and will have an interview and a home visit from the organisation before his application is approved. It comes as Lineker filmed a “refugees welcome” video for the International Rescue Committee.
Posting the video on Twitter, he wrote:
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 12, 2020
Sitting in a cafe, with union bunting behind him, Lineker says that “Britain wouldn’t be Britain without fish and chips, a national institution, a culinary delight”. The animated fish and chips then tell the TV host that they were brought over to the UK by refugees, who also combined the two. Lineker states: “Britain wouldn’t be Britain without refugees” and the video ends with a “refugees welcome” sign on the cafe door.
Some people on the right have criticised Linekar for the move:
Julia: "I feel sorry for the refugee who ends up in Gary Lineker's mansion. A diet of crisps, virtue signalling and wokedom is not what they've come to Britain for."
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) September 3, 2020
Others have suggested this criticism shows certain hypocrisy:
Lineker: "refugees welcome"
Right wing twitter: "if you love them so much lets see you home one"
Lineker: "I'm welcoming home a refugee"
Right wing twitter: "No, not like that"!
— Michael Cannon (@inCanndescent) September 3, 2020
Apparently he’s offering a room in his home to a refugee. All the weirdos who squawked at him for not doing so are infuriated now he is. Ignore them. They are a minority. Helping people is normal. Gary Lineker and his family are cool. https://t.co/3XV5Q6SFFE
— Shaparak Khorsandi (@ShappiKhorsandi) September 3, 2020
Last month Lineker, father to four sons, hinted he was willing to house a refugee after sharing a screenshot from an email from Refugees At Home.
Tory MP Lee Anderson accused Lineker of “virtue signalling” and suggested he should house “the next boat of illegal immigrants”.
The ex-Leicester, Everton, Barcelona, and Tottenham striker told the Daily Mirror he is “not at all” apprehensive about housing a refugee and has no idea who he will be living with or where they will be from.
I have had so much connection with refugees over the last couple of years.
I have met scores of young refugees through football schemes and they are genuinely lovely kids and they appreciate any help they can get.
The former footballer has been critical of the government’s response to refugees attempting to cross the English Channel, describing it as “heartless and completely without empathy”.
The Home Office has come under scrutiny over record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel to reach the UK.
At least 409 people reached British shores in a rush of small boats on Wednesday, a new single-day record.
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