Fact Check-Fake Guardian headline on BBC presenter Gary Lineker’s suspension

The Guardian did not publish a headline claiming that BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker would “never have been censored if he had been white.”

The Guardian masthead is viewable across the upper-third of the website screenshot, with a supposed headline that reads: “Gary Lineker spoke his mind. He never would have been censored if he had been white.”

Examples of the screenshot can be viewed (here) and (here).

“We can confirm that the link shared has never been a published Guardian headline or story,” a spokesperson for The Guardian told Reuters.

A search through the Guardian’s website did not reveal the headline (here).

Archived versions of the outlet’s homepage did not reveal the supposed article (here), (here).

A search through the Guardian’s official Twitter handle (@Guardian) did not reveal any social media post connected to the alleged headline (

An online search did not reveal the above headline published via any media outlet (

The screenshot was likely altered from an authentic headline that was published via the Guardian on March 10 that reads: “Gary Lineker spoke his mind. Now we should too: fate could have put any one of us in those migrant boats” (here).

The BBC reinstated Lineker on March 13 after briefly taking their highest paid star off air due to their impartiality rules after he posted a tweet that was critical of the government’s immigration policy (here).

The corporation axed much of its sports coverage over the weekend after broadcasters refused to work in a show of solidarity with Lineker (here).


False. No such headline was published by the Guardian.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.