Gary Lineker forced to explain ‘bra’ tweet about Lionesses as he’s accused of sexism

England's Lionesses lift Euros trophy at Trafalgar Square

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Gary Lineker, 61, has addressed a controversial tweet he wrote about England’s Lionesses following their 2-1 victory against Germany last night. Football pundit Gary made a “bra” joke on Twitter which backfired and sparked criticism.

The Lionesses made history by becoming the first England team to ever win the European Championships.

It was also the country’s first major footballing success since they won the World Cup, against the same opposition, in 1966.

In view of his 8.5million followers, Gary had written: “The @Lionesses have only gone and done it, and Kelly is England’s heroine, bra none.” 

It appeared to reference player Chloe Kelly, who took off her England shirt in celebration, revealing her sports bra underneath.

Although Gary had repeatedly congratulated the team and celebrated their historic win, some of his followers didn’t appreciate this tweet. 

Cheryl replied: “It’s just yet another example of casual sexism. Why mention her bra at all? Why not just congratulate her on the goal? 

“Women put up with these kind of “jokes” all the time and we’re fed up of it.”

Ruth added: “Seriously Gary? An epic win, a game-changer for women’s sport, a call to arms for young girls who have been told they can’t. 

“And you minimise this glory down to a joke about a women’s clothing/underwear. Casual sexism is rife here and the @Lionesses deserve better!” 

In the wake of the backlash, Gary deleted the tweet.

Karen Ingala Smith told him: “@GaryLineker Please apologise for and condemn the sexist responses to your now deleted badly judged tweet.”

To this, Gary responded: “It was just a play on words given the celebration. I do rubbish like that constantly on here, including on men’s football. 

“I’ve deleted it as many people didnt see the game so missed the context.”

Karen replied: “I understand that. And I don’t think your intention was to unleash the sexist smutty comments that many men made. 

“It’d be great if you could make clear that women’s football does not need sad men slobbering over and/or judging women’s bodies.”

Gary wrote back: “I’m glad you got that it was not intended to be in anyway sexist. I’m afraid i can’t control other people.”

This wasn’t the only tweet Gary penned that evening that caused a negative reaction.

He relayed a well-known quote he had previously shared at the World Cup three decades ago but reworded the famous line in honour of the Lionesses in 2022.

Gary wrote: “Football is a simple game. 22 women chase a ball for 90 minutes and, at the end, England actually win. Congratulations @lionesses. Fabulous.”

But many social media users took issue with the remark, calling out the Match of the Day presenter for being “patronising” – and he was forced to explain the context of the quote. 

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