This is from last week’s Champion’s League matches but it only just got uncovered, I guess because nobody in England watches stuff on the Al Jazeera network because we don’t live in the Middle East. Basically, Gary Lineker was commentating on the Champion’s League matches for Al Jazeera (apparently he has some cool clause in his contract which lets him freelance for other networks as well as work for Match of the Day, which is pretty banging) and some guy who scored for Montpellier did the classic Demba Ba/Papiss Cisse celebration of kneeling on the grass in a Muslim prayer position, which is a fairly common celebration for Muslim players aside from those two as well. Despite having presented about a million episodes of Match of The Day, in which I’m sure Demba Ba or Papiss Cisse must have scored at least ONCE and performed the celebration, Gary Lineker was really puzzled by the celebration of this Montpellier player and refers to it as ‘eating grass.’
Obviously, the Muslim world went batshit crazy about this. I mean, these are the guys who got worked up about that stupid Muhammad movie and killed a bunch of people because of it, it obviously isn’t going to take much to set them off again and it’s arguable that referring to a religious prayer as eating grass is more offensive than a low budget movie that is vaguely racist but more just completely stupid. Gary Lineker quickly tried to retract the statement saying that he was really sorry about it and ‘didn’t know the religion of every player.’
Well yeah, I don’t know the religion of every player either but I’ve seen that celebration a bunch of times and it isn’t my job to know loads of shit about football and talk about it on a daily basis (even though I probably do). I also did R.S. at school and have watched 24 so I kinda know what a Muslim prayer looks like and that it isn’t ‘eating grass,’ so it’s kinda unbelievable that Gary Lineker can be so unaware of such a practice, so I can kind of understand why the Muslims might be outraged at this. I mean it makes more sense than getting pissed off about that movie because what Lineker said is actually kind of offensive towards their religion and kind of ignorant whereas that movie is just fucking stupid but this time instead of smashing anything up and killing people they just vented their frustrations on twitter, which is definitely a more mature and less dangerous way to deal with offensive situations like this. I kind of want to say that it looks like they’ve calmed down a bit after all the violence but I’m sure there will be another flashpoint before the end of the year that will cause some kind of uprising, but if I did say that all the Muslim world might be offended and slate me on twitter and/or start rioting and killing people, so I think I’m just gonna leave it.
Here’s the video of Gary Lineker commentating, the way he says ‘ate grass’ is just golden. I also threw in a bonus video of him saying ‘that’s sick’ after an England promo which is even more hilarious: