As the Lionesses (England Women’s World Cup team) returned back home yesterday, their triumphant 1-0 win against Germany was overshadowed by an archaic, sexist tweet from England FA.
The Lionesses proved yesterday that women in sport are totally killing it – after pulling off the best finish by any England team at a World Cup since the men were victorious in 1966. They made it to the semi-finals and brought back with them a bronze medal from the tournament. And across the pond, on Monday, the USA team celebrated their third Women’s World Cup title (the first nation to do so).
And yet, this tweet below from England Football Association yesterday (posted to their 1.1million followers) only makes it more apparent that we still have a long way to go to eradicate sexism in sport:
The message was quickly deleted after sparking a Twitter backlash in which many branded it “sexist” and “patronising”.
Although FA’s Content Editor, James Callow, apologised for causing any offence from his personal Twitter account, he rejects any claims that the tweet was in any way an issue of gender. “I reject any accusation of sexism and human interest is a big part of any sport reporting. I’d have done the same for England me, absolutely.”
The Lionesses England defender, Laura Bassett, spoke recently about the future for women’s football; “times are changing in women’s football and they’re exciting for this England team. Why can’t we win gold in the future? Why can’t we win a tournament? We can beat anyone on our day.”
This is what should have been celebrated yesterday, highlighting women’s successes in sport – rather than setting them up as athletes separate from their male counterparts.
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By Emma Firth