In a recent interview with The Athletic, it was reported that Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber made disparaging comments about women’s football. He was asked about his experience of attending his first women’s football game, he said “It’s of zero interest to me in terms of on the telly because I watch enough men’s football and if I’m not watching that, I want to watch other sports. It’s a choice.”
Disappointing but not surprising
It is disappointing to hear Webber say this about women’s sport but unfortunately not surprising. But what makes it so poignant regarding Norwich City Football Club is Delia Smith (a woman), the famous chef, is a majority shareholder of Norwich City FC. So even though we have a woman who has a very prominent position and is investing in the Football Club in terms of; its financial health, the growth and development of the club, it is disheartening to hear such disparaging comments being made.
Akin Thomas, CEO and Founder of AKD Solutions adds: “Webber’s comments remind us that there is still a long way to go in women’s football and women’s sport in general. Despite women’s football having a record number in attendance which is way beyond anything that has happened before, yet these attitudes are being expressed by very senior individuals who hold important positions of influence.”
People of influence making discriminatory comments
We do not expect to eradicate sexism or even sexist comments however we do strive to continue to ensure that organisations are held accountable for building a culture that encourages individuals to be brilliant without barriers of discrimination. The challenge is when people are put in positions of influence and in this case, he has influence over women’s football and yet makes derogatory remarks about people he is responsible for, it begs the question – “How long will we turn a deaf ear to such comments?”.
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Our Sport Division has worked with governing bodies, sport and physical activity organisations to remove barriers of discrimination. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.