Sky Sports sexism row

English football section, also known as Ratherton's hole
ScottyBoy
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Post by ScottyBoy » 25 Jan 2011, 23:10

Tennis is a good example. Only recently have the major tournaments been awarding equal prize money for mens and womens titles.

I find this unfair or unequal as men often need to play four or five sets wheras females only need to play three.
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LiveTheDream
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Post by LiveTheDream » 26 Jan 2011, 01:49

I understand what you guys are saying to an extent. But there are several points I'd like to make:

1) The inequality in terms of coverage that men's and women's sports get respectively far outweighs the difference in ability. Lionel Messi is named FIFA World Player of the Year and gets innumerable articles written, feteing his brilliance (I'm not slighting him, he is brilliant). Marta, the winner of the Women's World Player of the Year gets a one line mention in an ESPN Soccernet article (the one where I saw that Messi won his award). Now, obviously I haven't read every newspaper article ever written in regards to these awards, but you get my drift I'm sure. Furthermore, this was the fifth year in a row Marta has won the award. If a male player was to achieve this then I can't even begin to imagine how this would be celebrated.

2) I don't think I'd expect pay equality in this current climate. No player, male or female, is worth the jaw-dropping amounts of money that is currently being paid to players. It's totally nuts. There's that much money splashing around in the game, I'm sure it could be spread out a bit more.

3) You refer to the majority of 'consumers' of football being male. I pose this question in reply: What efforts are being made to encourage female interest? Who would want to go to a football match if they are going to be judged and slighted because of their gender? If I'm going to watch a football match, I'm wanting to be able to enjoy myself and support my team, not be in an environment where I've got people making nasty comments either about me or the other females involved in the game. It's not fair, and those at the top of the game should be doing their utmost to condemn such behaviour. If it's shown to be heavily disapproved of at the top, then such behaviour should thus filter down to players, fans etc.

I've played in games with my school team where people (students) yell stuff out at my team because we're female. It puts players off like you wouldn't believe - and then it's wondered why participation rates don't match the men???
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Juicygriot17
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Post by Juicygriot17 » 26 Jan 2011, 03:08

LiveTheDream, I see what you mean, that the men get more of everything and there are more fans, but I never knew how bad the sexism is. but here in america, it really doesn't seem that bad...we have the WPA, and ESPN covers and analyses/celebrates our World Cup wins/runs. When the season is on I see just as much women's soccer, and they get more coverage than the EPL. I didnt know sexism was this bad

Nat_H
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Post by Nat_H » 26 Jan 2011, 04:03

Ajc is correct. It's a matter of economics rather than sexism (not referring to commentator's remarks but to apparent inequality b/w men's and women's sports).

2brown347
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Post by 2brown347 » 26 Jan 2011, 08:54

I'm sort of in the general agreement. It sounds rude, and I don't discredit any women athlete because many work just as hard as their male counterparts, but because of physical differences male sports are usually more interesting to watch.

Lets be real 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 (general statement not fact). Martha is amazing and I like watching her play but realistically she would be lucky to see the pitch in the USL.

I could watch WNBA because they work as hard as the NBA players, but I can also watch 11 year old male athletes dunk while counting the number of WNBA players who can on one hand.

It's not fair, but whether I have $100 to spend on a ticket or just an hour of spare time I'm using that resource to get the most entertainment I can. Which simply is male sports.

That said the idea that women can't be just as knowledgeable, dedicated, etc in any sport is ridiculous.

Met
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Post by Met » 26 Jan 2011, 12:50

Let's face it, men has oppressed woman for many years. Even when we are joking, deep down most people still hold sexist views. It's not publicly acceptable to have these views but privately, many people still do. LTD, brought up good points, things I would never believe would be true but are.

I believe it's wrong that Andy gray got the sack. I guess the banter was inappropriate for the workplace, but I don't think anyone would complain about it. I think it's not about sexism. It's an excuse to sack Andy Gray. Nice big cover for Sky Sports.

matt
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Post by matt » 26 Jan 2011, 12:52

I think the point LiveTheDream made about Marta is very apt. It is an outstanding achievement and I was surprised that it wasn't covered more. But it is true that more men are interested in football than women, and I don't think it is sexist to say that the standard of football is higher in the men's game. But the point about participation is interesting. It is true that women's football gets much less funding. Perhaps if women's football was given a fairer share of the media coverage it would be a first step towards equality in terms of money, participation and interest. I think the fact that so many people have spoken out against Gray and Keys shows that on the whole, society is much less tolerant of sexists than it used to be. I don't agree with Met that 'most people still hold sexist views'.

More people have come out and said that Sky Sports is an institutionally sexist place to work in, although things have improved slightly under the new management. All this stuff you hear and read about 'political correctness gone too far' or justifying it as 'banter' (a word I loathe) is bollocks. If you look at the female presenters on Sky Sports News, for example, they are all, according to those who work within Sky, selected for the job based on their looks. All of the top jobs at Sky Sports are occupied by middle-aged to elderly white men. Meanwhile at the BBC the head of sport is a woman.
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nick117
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Post by nick117 » 26 Jan 2011, 15:25

the problem is you would be funding something that makes less money it's like trading gold for silver. The WPL final is lucky to get 3000 people in person while madrid vs barcelona would hold a million people if the stadium would let them. Men don't typically want to watch women s sports so all the media coverage would be for not.

2brown347
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Post by 2brown347 » 26 Jan 2011, 16:45

On the note of women sports being less popular it's not only men who would rather watch male sports, but basically anyone who is into sports.

ratherton
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Post by ratherton » 26 Jan 2011, 17:45

These clips have come to light as someone working at Sky has leaked them. That would suggest there are one or more people at Sky who have something against Keys and Gray.

Knowing UK law, I don't think Sky had any choice but to sack Gray and I'd be surprised if Keys survived too.

Keys did a long interview on Talksport today. He tried to sound sincere but he sounds bitter to me (as expected) and I think its more the fact he is sorry he's been caught out rather than sorry for what he said.

http://www.talksport.co.uk/

In other news, a British Paratrooper was killed in Afghanistan yesterday and I know what is more important.
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mint
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Post by mint » 26 Jan 2011, 21:42

Yeah i know which is more important too ratherton, i think they should just bring our boys home myself.


Back on topic was in pub earlier and saw on sky sports news that keys had resigned, hardly surprising though. :roll:
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LiveTheDream
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Post by LiveTheDream » 26 Jan 2011, 22:53

@ 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.
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ScottyBoy
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Post by ScottyBoy » 26 Jan 2011, 23:45

I'm going to jump on the band wagon that Keys and gray have been totally set up.

Someone in the control room must have known they were being recorded and for the second Andy Gray video to be released now is suspicious. Someone must have had it on file the whole time.

"sky showing strong stance against sexism"

There's nothing sexist about their rota of female presenters... :roll:

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I'm sure they all deserved their jobs through journalistic integrity. :roll:

I think i should recieve extra credit for having to go through the ordeal of obtaining these pictures :?
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ajc
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Post by ajc » 27 Jan 2011, 01:34

LiveTheDream wrote: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.
It takes more than skill alone to be a dominant force in professional football. A player needs to have the strength, quickness and sprinting ability to utilize the skill he or she possesses in game situations. And due to the natural physical differences between males and females a male player needs more strength and quickness to compete- resulting in a faster paced game- leading to a more attractive product on the pitch for the spectators. I don't see how one could make the argument that economically men's football isn't the superior product.

Think of the world's best freestylers or futsal players. It is quite likely that many of them possess more skill than many top pros. They can't play for proper pro sides because they lack the other qualities necessary to be a complete footballer- mainly physical aspects. This could be likened to a female player who has astounding coordination and skill- but yet cannot compete with top male players because she lacks the essential physical abilities.
LiveTheDream wrote: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
This is a highly idealistic perspective. Until there are real profits to be gained from pouring money into women's sports it won't happen. Besides an organization recognizing a lucrative business opportunity in investing heavily in women's sports the only way such a change could be brought about would be for political reasons. But no government or agency is going to step in and demand tremendous changes in the policy of sports like you desire to see realized. There are enough other problems in the world to keep the world's political powers occupied.
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LiveTheDream
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Post by LiveTheDream » 27 Jan 2011, 02:23

ajc wrote:
LiveTheDream wrote: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.
It takes more than skill alone to be a dominant force in professional football. A player needs to have the strength, quickness and sprinting ability to utilize the skill he or she possesses in game situations. And due to the natural physical differences between males and females a male player needs more strength and quickness to compete- resulting in a faster paced game- leading to a more attractive product on the pitch for the spectators. I don't see how one could make the argument that economically men's football isn't the superior product.

Think of the world's best freestylers or futsal players. It is quite likely that many of them possess more skill than many top pros. They can't play for proper pro sides because they lack the other qualities necessary to be a complete footballer- mainly physical aspects. This could be likened to a female player who has astounding coordination and skill- but yet cannot compete with top male players because she lacks the essential physical abilities.
LiveTheDream wrote: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
This is a highly idealistic perspective. Until there are real profits to be gained from pouring money into women's sports it won't happen. Besides an organization recognizing a lucrative business opportunity in investing heavily in women's sports the only way such a change could be brought about would be for political reasons. But no government or agency is going to step in and demand tremendous changes in the policy of sports like you desire to see realized. There are enough other problems in the world to keep the world's political powers occupied.
I understand what you're saying in a way. I won't deny I am a bit of an idealist. But the discrepancies are huge. I wouldn't expect a magic wand to be waved and BAM everything is alright. But actual steps should be taken to improve the situation. FIFA (ha, what a joke!) should be pushing for it (note the word 'should' - they are after all pretty useless).

I'm not saying that I'd expect women's football to get the same razzle dazzle reception that men's football does. Definitely not straight away. But the playing field is far from level in this - it wouldn't take that much money to even some things up a bit. Getting the profile of players out there more. Better coverage for women's derby games, things like that. Things like that would help the game for the future - young girls just starting to learn to play could see that there is a future in the game and have people to look up to that aren't only blokes.
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