Football is a national obsession. But from the media’s coverage of the game, it seems the only people who are interested in the game, are men.
Gabby Logan is hoping to encourage a different way of thinking through Wednesday nights showing of the BBC documentary ‘Sexism in football?’.
The programme speaks to a number of influential women across the ‘men’s game, including West Ham’s vice chairman Karen Brady and Karen Espelund of UEFA. It comes on the back of the infamous comments made by Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys, which led to their high profile sackings in 2011.
The documentary focuses on the segregation woman still face in the sports presenting industry and how this discrimination will struggle to be eradicated in football unless people change their ways of thinking.
“We found women who work in football clubs were being locked out of press conferences – being told it was men only and being manhandled out of areas of the ground.”
It is ridiculous that this type of segregation continues to be seen as acceptable in 2012. Logan is still frequently asked what is it like to work in a ‘mans’ world? In a society where we have many laws and regulations to deal with issues such as, racism and homophobia in the workplace, why is so little being done about discrimination in football?
Former Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez said: “You know if you’re a female working in that environment you are knocking your head against a very tough wall, and you wonder why anyone would want to work in that environment? What are you looking to prove?”
Throughout the years, there has been an increase in woman attending football matches. Women now make up a quarter of all fans in the crowd and a third of arm chair supporters – double the proportion a decade ago. With more and more woman going to football matches I find myself wondering why people believe women can’t work in the same field as men? Women who have an interest in football, will know just as much as men, in some cases more, so why should their views be disregarded.
Football remains one of the last male dominated professions. It seems that this problem will struggle to be eradicated unless society loses their gender stereotype regarding woman and football. This documentary is a step in the right direction to finding an end to football’s sexism. However, it is not enough to watch the documentary and never think about it again, society has to do more.