Sky F1 commentator Martin Brundle accuses Gary Lineker of ‘encouraging reckless behaviour’ after the £1.36m-a-year BBC presenter backed protest by Just Stop Oil eco zealots who stormed British Grand Prix
- Gary Lineker and Martin Brundle got into a Twitter spat after the Match of the Day host backed the protesters
- Brundle told Lineker: ‘Don’t encourage this reckless behaviour. They’d have been sliced into 100 pieces.’
- Just Stop Oil eco-zealots sprinted onto the Silverstone track at the British Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon
- A red flag for a first corner crash spared protestors facing any high-speed cars – they were dragged away
- Gary Lineker said: ‘Way more risk of death with climate change’. Lewis Hamilton also backed the protesters
- READ: Police arrest seven eco-zealots after Just Stop Oil protesters invade track
Gary Lineker today backed eco morons who stormed the British Grand Prix and brushed off claims their stunt could have seen them ‘sliced into 100 pieces’ and kill a driver, fan or track marshal.
The Match of the Day presenter, 61, who is paid £1.36million-a-year by the BBC, has been accused of encouraging ‘reckless behaviour’ – and flouting the corporation’s impartiality rules – after declaring: ‘History will look back very favourably on these people’.
He also said it was ‘ridiculous’ to claim that the drivers would have kept racing on the track with protesters blocking Silverstone’s Wellington Straight. One critic said in response to Mr Lineker: ‘BBC impartiality rules don’t apply obviously’.
Lewis Hamilton has also thrown his support behind the climate activists, by declaring: ‘Big up the protestors’.
Police arrested seven people after they ran through the trackside fencing and on to the track following a horror crash for Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu which immediately saw the race red-flagged. That ensured that cars returned to the pit-lane at reduced speed and prevented any fatalities as marshals quickly dragged the protestors from the track.
Climate activist group Just Stop Oil took responsibility for the protest, which drew widespread condemnation, and Lineker has now hailed the efforts of the eco-zealots. Sky’s F1 commentator Martin Brundle is among those who accused Gary Lineker of irresponsibly using his platform as a BBC presenter with 8.5million Twitter followers to support their action.
Mr Brundle said: ‘Gary please don’t encourage this reckless behaviour. ‘They’d have been sliced into 100 pieces and fans, marshals and drivers were wholly at risk of injury and death. We already had one lucky escape. I totally support freedom of speech and opinion, but do it responsibly.’
But Mr Lineker hit back: ‘Way more risk of death with climate change to everyone than there is attempting to delay a motor race’. And denying there was a safety issue, he tweeted another critic: ‘So you think they would race with people on the track? Ridiculous thought’.
Protestors stormed the Wellington Straight – the fastest point of the track – before sitting down on the track yesterday. Experts including Martin Brundle said they and others could have died. Gary Lineker and Lewis Hamilton back them
Martin Brundle has accused Gary Lineker of being irresponsible over comments about the seven protestors who stormed the Silverstone track at the British Grand Prix on Sunday
Mr Lineker said that history would judge the eco zealots kindly, and dismissed criticism of his stance
Gary Lineker claimed later that there is ‘way more risk of death with climate change’ than protesting
Lineker has been vocal on the topic of climate change and vowed to block ‘deniers’ in a tweet on June 16
Martin Brundle urged Mr Lineker not to encourage reckless behaviour
Lewis Hamilton (pictured yesterday) has also thrown his support behind the climate activists who invaded the track at Sunday’s British Grand Prix by declaring: ‘Big up the protestors.’
Northamptonshire Police confirmed seven people were arrested following the track invasion
Climate activist group Just Stop Oil took to Twitter to claim responsibility for the risky protest
Seven people ran onto the track at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone (Pictured: marshals dragging protestors as a car drives by)
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton defended the activists.
He said: ‘Big up those guys. Big up the protesters.
‘I love that people are fighting for the planet and we need more people like them.’
Later on Instagram, the 37-year-old wrote: ‘As we’ve seen today, this is a dangerous sport.
‘I wasn’t aware of the protests today, and while I’ll always support those standing up for what they believe in, it must be done safely.
‘Please don’t jump on to our race circuits to protest, we don’t want to put you in harm’s way.’
This morning Match of the Day host Lineker, tweeted: ‘If it’s not already too late, history will look back very favourably on these people’, in response to an appearance on Good Morning Britain by James Skeet, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil.
This sparked the response from Martin Brundle, a former F1 driver and now prominent figure as a commentator with Sky Sports F1, quickly took issue with Lineker lending his support to the protestors to his 8.5million followers.
On Twitter following their latest protest, Just Stop Oil wrote: ‘A group of supporters of Just Stop Oil have stormed the track at #BritishGP2022
‘If you are more outraged about this disruption than our world being burnt before our eyes, then you need to get your priorities straight.
‘We demand the government calls an immediate halt to new oil and gas projects in the UK and we will continue to disrupt sports, cultural events and oil until this demand is met.
‘How many more young people have to step up before the government will listen?’
Lineker has previous when it comes to the issue of climate change.
Back on June 16 he tweeted: ‘Another heatwave over Europe and elsewhere. Records broken year on year.
‘We’re like a cancer patient who knows there’s a tumour, but prefers to ignore it and hopes it goes away, even though it gets larger everyday. #DontLookUp’
He added: ‘Right, I’m done with the wearisome, misinformed climate change deniers. Blocking as many as possible.’
Northamptonshire Police made an appeal before the race asking potential protestors to not put lives at risk with an on-track protest but that plea fell on deaf ears in the group’s latest show of defiance at a sporting event.
The race was red flagged after Zhou Guanyu crashed on the first lap (pictured)
Ambulances pictured on the Silverstone circuit after Mercedes’ George Russell and Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou were involved in a huge crash during the opening lap
A flurry of Premier League matches across one week in the middle of March were all targeted by the group.
A 20-year-old student who is a member of the group ran onto the pitch during the Arsenal v Liverpool game, briefly bringing the match to a halt.
Less than 24 hours later Everton vs Newcastle was temporarily suspended when a different protestor tied himself to a goalpost with cable tie around his neck.
Further protests took place during Wolves against Leeds and West Ham against Tottenham, raising the profile of the protesting group.
Were it not for the abandonment of the race on lap one following Zhou’s horror crash, which thankfully saw him escape unharmed, the protestors would have faced oncoming traffic running at close to 190mph.
Event commander chief inspector Tom Thompson said following the trackside security breach: ‘I’m really disappointed that this group of people ignored our warnings prior to race-day and made the incredibly dangerous decision to enter the track.
‘We offered to facilitate a peaceful event at the circuit but they instead chose to put the lives of the drivers, marshals and volunteers at risk. It is incredibly disappointing that anyone would make the decision to do this.
‘Thankfully we had plans in place for an eventuality such as this and the group were swiftly removed and arrested by our officers.
‘All seven are currently in custody where their details are being ascertained.
‘Finally, I would like to thank all of the officers and staff, as well as our partners, who have worked tirelessly on this policing operation. Generally we have had very low crime rates, today’s incident was dealt with effectively and efficiently, and I could not have asked for more.’
Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups which aim to ensure the Government commits to halting new fossil fuel licensing and production.
On their website, the group pledged to target the UK’s oil and gas infrastructure using non violent direct action if the Government failed to stop fossil fuel licensing and production by March 14, 2022.
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