Sunday 17 December 2017

Women In Football urges FA to "educate" managers after David Moyes "slap" threat

David Moyes has apologised for comments made towards a female reporter
David Moyes has apologised for comments made towards a female reporter

The Women in Football group has urged the Football Association to "educate" managers after David Moyes threatened to "slap" a female reporter at the end of an interview.

Sunderland boss Moyes took offence to Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks' question in a post-match interview following his side's goalless Premier League draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light on March 18.

Sparks had asked Moyes whether the presence of Black Cats owner Ellis Short at the game meant his job was under threat.

After the interview was over, Moyes said: "It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself.

"You still might get a slap even though you're a woman. Careful the next time you come in."

The BBC and Sunderland confirmed that Moyes and Sparks had spoken since and that the matter was resolved, and on Monday Moyes spoke about it at his media conference, saying he "deeply regretted" the comments.

A statement released by WIF, a network of professional women working in and around the football industry, read: "We are deeply disappointed and concerned by the threatening language used by Sunderland manager David Moyes towards BBC reporter, Vicki Sparks.

"We are calling on the FA to help educate football managers against this type of behaviour."

A WIF spokesperson added: "We are pleased that David Moyes has apologised. No one should be made to feel threatened in the workplace for simply doing their job.

"We hope that the football authorities will work with us to educate football managers and those working within the game to prevent this kind of behaviour."

In a WIF survey conducted by Professor Sue Bridgewater and released in March 2016, 61 per cent of respondents had witnessed sexism in the workplace with 46 per cent - almost half - having experienced it themselves.

According to WIF, recent TUC research conducted in collaboration with the Everyday Sexism Project showed that more than half (52 per cent) of women, and nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of women surveyed aged 18-24 said they had experienced sexual harassment at work.

Press Association

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