@ Juicygriot - I'd say some places are worse than others. I can't comment on the US, as I live in NZ, but as you pointed out, there is coverage for women's football, which is brilliant. Unfortunately, it's not quite the same elsewhere in the world, in many countries in the Middle East for example, women aren't even allowed to go and watch a game in a stadium, let alone play.
@ 2brown - Your comment that
Messi gets all those articles written about him, the salary, the fame, blah blah because he's able to be the best soccer player in the world
intrigued me. How do we know that there aren't girls with the potential to be just as skillful if there aren't the opportunities there for them? Because that's what Messi had that many girls don't have and won't get, and opportunity, and this is purely because of their gender. You then go on to talk about the 'entertainment value' of sports - yes most girls physiologically aren't as strong as guys, but not everything is about brute force. I'd personally rather watch a game where technique and skill was the focus, rather than clogging the crap out of one another, for example.
@ Nick and Met - It's true that many people do hold sexist views in some way, shape or form. They don't necessarily have to be 'women don't know the offside rule' but can even be things like 'It's not ladylike to swear'. Um, hello? Guess what? Girls don't necessarily find it particularly attractive when guys eff and blind and cuss every couple of seconds. To digress somewhat, I personally would be far more attracted to a guy who could wow me with his vocabulary rather than demonstrate how he can use the same swear word as a noun, a verb and an adjective.
I believe that they should both have been sacked. If they were off duty at home, having a couple of beers or whatever with mates and said these things they would still have been just as nasty, just as unfair, but they wouldn't have been in the positions that they were in ie a position of responsibility. We all know the power of the media, it strongly affects the perceptions that people hold. If the media makes it seem ok that attitudes like this are held, that women don't know anything about sport, then countless others are going to think that that is right. And it's not. This wasn't 'off air banter', this was two men discriminating someone based on their gender at work. Sackable offence. End of story.
Some of you imply that funding women's sport is a waste of money. To change people's attitudes and encourage participation would undoubtedly take time. But to put right the wrongs of the past, the things like this that are so fundamentally wrong, I feel is imperative. So what, you might not reap the profits tenfold straight away. But some things are bigger than money. And I think this needs to be realised.
Some things don't necessarily make the headlines and grip the nation's attention, such as the death of a paratrooper in a war that they shouldn't be in (and I agree, the English need to bring their troops home, not just their boys, as I'm fairly sure that there would be some women serving in Afghanistan too) but they are just as important
. Gender equality is just as important as this, and is a battle that has been fought far longer and will probably continue long after. To say it is not as important... Well, I think by now you can guess my opinion on the matter.