What’s wrong with a man offering applause to a woman who performed her job better than he performed his?
The English Football Association is representative of the people.
It’s a bold statement, but one I’m prepared to stand beside having witnessed their handling of the Eni Aluko allegations generally and spent time on football message boards yesterday after the story of Mark Sampson’s sacking broke.
Marc Albrighton has just scored Leicester City’s second goal of the night and, assuming they don’t go all Arsenal on us, will proceed directly to the quarter finals of the Champions League. Their performance has been everything part 2 of the Ranieri era was not; purposeful, competitive, pressing, intense. They’re irresistible.
How ironic then, that they should be the club representing football’s summiting of Peak Entertainment and beginning the long miserable march downward into unknown (if inevitably uncomfortable) territory.
A few years ago, a fifteen year old boy telephoned my favourite football phone-in and spoke very eloquently about his team, Stoke City. Robin was passionate and offered commentary on Stoke’s playing squad, tactics and management structure as well as informed ideas as to what might improve their play even more.
Which, as you’ll know if you’ve listened to BBC 606 with Fletch & Sav for any length of time, is as rare as Mark Clattenburg keeping a low profile during a game.
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By resigning from his position as technical director of British cycling, Shane Sutton has instantly become the poster boy for those who believe that women aren’t capable of coping with the rigorous, often unpleasant realities of competing in elite sport.
Phone-ins and social media networks are alight with righteous indignation propelled voices claiming that if women can’t stand the intensity of the motivational tactics (which may or may not include verbal sparring and insults) required, perhaps they should reacquaint themselves with the more suitable challenges of the kitchenette.
Toby Young, Daily Mail 1st April 2016.
You could say that drawing attention to this sort of thing is giving the trolls what they want.
That Toby Young will be reclining on his chaise longue this morning, clad in smoking jacket and dragging on the big old Cuban parked between his educated lips while he cackles at the outrage his Daily Mail article provoked.
It’s a great leveller, social media, isn’t it?
In olden times, before Facebook and Twitter were things, we had no portal to air our feelings on matters that we had no prior knowledge of, so we limited our explosive rants to subjects we were vaguely qualified on or just made a massive fool of ourselves down the pub.
At least then we kept our friends entertained.
At this point it’s just a rumour, but that didn’t stop me from recoiling in terror at a headline as it rolled by my eyes this morning.
“News and sport station could follow BBC3 in going off air, or even face closure to save its £66m budget?” it whispered in a beguiling, yet ominous tone. The story has since been dismissed by 5Live controller Jonathan Wall, but the damage is done.
The notion I might have to move through my life without the tones of BBC 5Live accompanying my every step has been introduced into my consciousness. The damage has been done.
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When news broke that Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson had been arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with an underage girl, the accelerated judicial procedure that is social media reached a verdict within seconds.