BBC Host Gary Lineker Presenting in Underwear Highlights Double Standards on TV

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

A quick lesson in double standards: A man appears on TV in just his underwear and the internet erupts in cries of silver fox; a woman appears on TV in a short dress and viewers take to Twitter to criticize her for looking like a sex worker.  

This is precisely what happened when former soccer player and current sportscaster for BBC's Match of the Day, Gary Lineker, followed through on a longstanding promise to present in just his skivvies if Leicester City won the Premier League. 

As Mashable reported, they did win, which meant Lineker had a job to do. In his underwear. On Saturday night, he did it — and Twitter responded with resounding applause. MOTD's ratings spiked

A photo posted by (@) on

One week previously, BBC's Helen Skelton wore a short dress while presenting live from the Rio Olympics. But trolls positively roasted her for showing what they judged to be too much skin. 

Skelton's dress made her, in the eyes of some viewers, a potential corrupter of kids; Lineker's underwear-only appearance made him a children's hero.  

Lineker did not get called trash; he got a pat on the back for making good on an embarrassing agreement and looking good while he did it: The only complaint he received was that he wore "shorts" rather than "pants," as promised, which is to say, that his boxers were too big and viewers would've liked to see more skin, please. 



Many devoted sports fans who'd seen both broadcasts were quick to point out the gross gap in reactions to Skelton's and Lineker's outfits. The more socially aware people of the internet were irked at the obvious (and sexist) double standard.

Literally what, indeed. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.