Gary Lineker receives human rights award

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker Image: Cubankite/

Match of the Day presenter receives an award from Amnesty International.

The ex-England and Tottenham Hotspur striker and TV presenter Gary Lineker has received a Sport and Human Rights from Amnesty International in Rome.

Lineker was given his award for “his strong commitment towards immigration and human rights issues.” 

Accepting the award the striker called for “more compassion, empathy and kindness” towards refugees.

Lineker has come under criticism for receiving the award, including from Torie MP Craig Mackinlay who described it as “another self-congratulatory fest of one woke group to another woke activist”.

Responding to the criticism Lineker replied: “I am for freedom of speech – but in my experience of freedom of speech, particularly the people who campaign for freedom of speech, they’re all for it until they disagree with what you’re saying, and I think that’s always important to remember.”

Lineker received the award alongside Natali Shaheen, the former Palestine captain who currently plays futsal in Sardinia.

Shaheen wrote a book called Un calcio ai pregiudizi (A Kick to prejudices). She donated all the proceeds of the book sale towards associations focused on the training of young female footballers in Palestine and Sardinia.

Lineker was briefly suspended by the BBC following controversial tweets he made on his social media. Following a walkout of other BBC sports presenters and commentators, Lineker was swiftly reinstated as presenter of Match of the Day.

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Written by

Max Greenhalgh