Gary Lineker, the host of Match of the Day (MOTD), has questioned Twitter owner Elon Musk after his son received a threatening message.
The former footballer was reinstated as MOTD host on Monday, following his brief suspension, and shared a private message that said his eldest son, George, should be “burned at the stake” for supporting him publicly.
Lineker and other BBC employees have received online abuse in the wake of his suspension.
The broadcaster invited its staff to lunchtime sessions in Salford on Tuesday, during which director-general Tim Davie and chief content officer Charlotte Moore heard from staff, took questions, and reflected on the events of the past few days.
Earlier in the day, George had tweeted about the abuse, stating that on Instagram he had received many nice messages, whereas on Twitter he had received much abuse, despite it not being anything to do with him.
At a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee meeting, Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes described the episode as “really difficult” for the BBC, but said she hoped that it would find a way through it.
She also noted that the BBC’s social media guidelines were a matter for its board, rather than the media watchdog, as the guidelines safeguard the broadcaster’s reputation.
Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell criticised Lineker’s suspension in the Commons, stating that being taken off air for tweeting something “the Government doesn’t like” sounded like “Putin’s Russia”.
The comparison was described as “disgraceful” by culture minister Julia Lopez. BBC TV and radio coverage of football was disrupted across the weekend as pundits, presenters, and reporters, including Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, and Alex Scott, joined a walkout in solidarity with Lineker.
Following the BBC’s apology and Lineker’s reinstatement, Mr Davie announced a review of social media guidelines at the broadcaster.
The row started after Lineker was taken off air for a tweet in which he compared the language used to launch a new government asylum seeker policy to that of 1930s Germany.
BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman returned to work on Monday and noted that some staff members had been “at the receiving end of abuse for just doing their jobs”.
The BBC reported that Mr Davie had sent an email to all staff, acknowledging the challenging few days and expressing his gratitude for their work during the disruption.