Saturday 3 December 2016

Chauvinists all live in a mad world indeed

With all the nonsense about soccer official Sian Massey's sex, the real point was missed, writes Louis Jacob

Published 30/01/2011 | 05:00

lAST January, The Sun newspaper ran an article posing the question: 'Can women referee men's footie?' It was one of those 'for and against' formats and seemed innocuous enough. That is, until you took a closer look. Former Arsenal player Perry Groves was (to put it mildly) against the idea. At the risk of ruining your Sunday, here is an excerpt from what he wrote:

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"When it comes to consistency and logic, women are a different species. I know a lot of women and they're not consistent from hour to hour. Footballers want the rules to be applied consistently and this wouldn't happen with women refs . . . Also, let's face it, women have periods and we all know how hormones affect them. Would women refs be banned [from refereeing] during their 'time of the month' because they might be more emotional, depressed or aggressive?"

The really sad thing is that Perry Groves is no Ricky Gervais and he wasn't fooling around. On the contrary, he meant every word of it. Ordinarily, Groves' comments wouldn't merit a thought. But it is interesting to revisit them in the context of sexist comments made last week by Sky Sports 'personalities' Richard Keys and Andy Gray regarding female Premier League official Sian Massey and their assertion that women can't understand the offside rule.

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