Richard Scudamore, has this week been forced to apologise for participating in the sending and receiving of “inappropriate” emails which have been leaked by his former PA.
To refer to the content of these emails as “inappropriate” is in itself, inappropriate. The content is deeply sexist and entirely degrading of women where he labels women as "irrational". Another email advised a lawyer friend to keep a female colleague “off your shaft”, while said lawyer friend referred to women as "gash."
|Scudamore in sexist scandal|
The Premier League boss is at the helm of a multi-million campaign aimed at attracting young girls and women into the football industry.
It is irrelevant that these emails were intended only for private reading. What matters, is that the man who is publicly stating that the Premier League is striving to be at the “leading edge” of the “whole equality agenda”, is guilty of sending misogynistic emails which suggest an assumption of male superiority.
While the football industry is eager to state that sexism is a prehistoric prejudice no longer existing in our beautiful game, the fact that the boss of the Premier League is responsible for such degrading comments paints a much truer picture.
The fact of the matter is that while the men at the top of the game have such a disgusting view of their female counterparts, then women stand no chance in football whatsoever.
Not only this, but the probability that Scudamore will escape this scandal with his job still intact is remarkable. It begs the question, if Scudamore had sent “inappropriate” emails bearing racist comments, would he still be likely to get off so easily?
Presumably not. So why, in 2014 is sexism still seen as a small matter of “banter” or “inappropriateness” compared to racism, or homophobia which is considered a much higher evil?
During the Andy Gray and Richard Keyes sexism scandal, despite being sacked from their jobs, they found other football media jobs with ease and still retain a huge media presence.
The lack of seriousness that sexism scandals attract delivers only one message to young women in all parts of the industry, and the message is loud and clear.
The fact that Scudamore could keep his job screams to me that sexism is nothing more than an over-reaction on the behalf of women. It tells me to “calm down, dear”, as it was only a joke in a private email.
Sexism is not just wrong, but it is utterly abhorrent. It is 2014 and our society is still guilty of portraying women as inferior, as sexual objects and as “irrational”.
Is it really any surprise that only a tiny minority of sports reporters are women? Is it so shocking that very few women referee or officiate our football matches? Of course it isn't.
How can any woman feel confident, or secure in this industry when the man at the top of the food chain has no qualms about disrespecting their intellect?
I wrote a blog last June about sexism in football, and I naively believed that the game had been making small steps towards the end goal of gender equality. Unfortunately, when I am bracketed under the term “irrational” in a conversation that refers to me as "gash", the blow to my faith and hope is only analogous of taking a sledgehammer and smashing the Premier League trophy to pieces.
It is fortunate that groups such as Women in Football exist, as I do not know how many women would be able to cope with the continuous sexism passed off as banter without it.
It is frankly embarrassing that the man responsible for the Premier League, the “greatest league in the world” is capable of such foul prejudice.
Now, Richard Scudamore’s hopes of attracting women into the world of football is about as probable as him seeing a pig fly past his office window.
What will attract women into the industry is re-education of our society, what will attract women into the industry, is the knowledge that the men at the top of the football pyramid see us as their equals, not as their inferiors. What will attract women into the industry is a shift in the way that women are viewed.
I am not a piece of “gash” to be viewed and used for male sexual gratification, as the word implies. Nor am I irrational; the fact that my understanding of gender equality exceeds that of yours, Richard Scudamore, highlights a lack of reasoning ability on your behalf.
As I said in my blog just under a year ago, I am a sports journalist. My gender is of no importance.