Football is blessed with a unique gift – a gift where it can unite a nation together, and how it stands up for social justice. For example has many regulatory bodies that are trying to eradicate the evil disease that is not only in football but society itself- racism. Campaigns such as Respect which is backed by Europe’s governing body Uefa- and there is also Kick It Out which might be better known in England.
Thankfully racism on is decreasing in football – but in recents events football has developed a bit of a ‘dark side’. Reports have emerged that a leading contender for the vacant Crystal Palace job Malkay Mackay is to be investigated for sending texts messages to former head of recruitment at Cardiff Iain Moody. Moody was recently appointed sporting director of Palace – but has since resigned.
It has also been brought to the public eye that former Cardiff manager Mackay had sent messages of homophobic nature, anti- semetic nature, racist nature and of a sexist nature. Although the 42 year old Scot has denied the allegations, the evidence seems quite damning.
The Sexist remarks involve a Oxford- Educated sports lawyer called Carly Barnes, it has been revealed. Moody and Mackay it has been alleged that in appropriate comments have been made about the 39 year old. Carly Barnes currently represents Malta’s 2 most prominent football players Michael Mifsud of Coventry City FC and Justin Harber of Sheffield United. The comments made against her are unjustified, the 39 year old academically is successful and professionally.
With these appalling acts coming to public eye – and past sexual discriminations of Richard Keys and Andy Gray (the Sky Sports presenters) , also the head of football Sepp Blatters rather inappropriate remarks about women shorts. The team at the Speaker investigate to see if football has gone back into the ‘dark ages’ or had never truly emerged from it in the 1st place.
Organisations like the BBC deserve to be commended on many levels, great credit must go to them for employing female football presenters on ‘male programmes’ such as Match Of The Day ( that is not intended to be a sexist comment, historically male presenters and pundits have appeared on the show).
The organisation deserves further credit for employing Jacqui Oatley a female commentator, sadly the commentators 1st appearance on the mic was a sideshow and the fact that she is a women proved more interesting for journalists. Never the less Oatley gave a accomplished display behind the mic, and the rest as they say was history.
Football in a harsh reality is a male dominated sport maybe due to a few stigmas that are attached around women – and also a few ridiculous comments made by head of football Sepp Blatter. The Fifa president rather inappropriately suggested that women should wear ‘tighter shorts’ to ‘increase viewers’ of the women’s game.
Comments like that show that women’s football or should I say rather football’s attitude towards women playing it needs to change. Women in football is a ‘strange’ issue, football in certain instances is very welcoming to women. High profile clubs such as Chelsea have a female in the back room staff, football clubs are appointing women coaches – but then issues like the Malkay Mackay saga happen, the Andy Gray and Richard Keys episode as well (both men made a sexist comment about a co presenter) thankfully both were duly sacked.
In 2006 then Luton Town manager made a highly inappropriate remark:
“She shouldn’t be here, I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist.
“This is Championship football. This is not park football. What are women doing here? It is tokenism – for the politically correct idiots.”
This outburst lead Newell to be charged, as much as organisations like the BBC are doing all they can to change sexist stereo type, unfortunately the harsh reality is that it’s not going anytime soon.
As for racism, unfortunately this has come back to the fore. Luis Suarez racially abusing Patrice Evra (the Uruguayan was banned for 8 games), John Terry racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (the Chelsea defender received a 4 game ban and a £220,000 fine), another incident which is not as well known is Ahmed Mido (the then Middlesborough striker) receiving Islamophobic taunts from supporters and most recently which has come to light in Malkay Mackay ‘scandal’ is that the former Watford boss called his Malaysian employer Vincent Tan a C***k, and people wonder why Asians don’t get involved in sport?
Football needs a reality check – and although it’s a ‘few mindless individuals’ and not a majority, those individuals are never the less ruining the image of the ‘beautiful game’ . If people carry on like this the ‘beautiful game’ could become the not so beautiful game.