Australian paper experiences backlash after likening cricket scandal to #MeToo movement
The comparison “cheapens” the campaign against sexual harassment, one Twitter user said.
An Australian newspaper is facing backlash online after it likened the cricket ball tampering scandal to the #MeToo movement.
The Sydney Morning Herald published an opinion piece on Sunday entitled: “This is cricket’s #MeToo moment: a rare opportunity for complete purge” in response to the controversy.
In the piece, sports columnist Matthew Knox argued that captain Steve Smith is “no more the only ball tamperer than Harvey Weinstein was the only sexual harasser” and added that “the scandal is big enough to present cricket with a chance to cleanse itself”.
The story was written after the Australian cricket team became embroiled in a tampering row when batsman Cameron Bancroft was spotted by TV cameras rubbing a piece of tape, coated with dust from the pitch, on the ball while fielding.
Twitter users have pointed out the lack of awareness in comparing the sporting scandal to the movement which highlights sexual abuse and harassment across industries.
While some called for an apology and a retraction of the article, others criticised it for “cheapening” the #MeToo campaign.
Dumb opinion piece headline: “This is cricket’s #metoo moment”— Tali Aualiitia (@taliaualiitia) March 25, 2018
Narrator: It wasn’t. It would never be. But it highlighted how little society understood the #metoo movement when sexual harassment and assault are so callously compared to ball tampering in cricket
Another Twitter user, marquelawyers, tweeted: “This is not, of course, cricket’s #MeToo moment. It may come as a surprise to some men, but violating women and cricket balls are not morally equivalent acts.”
Denham Sadler said on Twitter: “The real #MeToo: a global movement highlighting the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault.
“Cricket’s #MeToo: we put some tape on the ball.”
Aus Cricket: cheated by rubbing some sticky tape on a ball to make it spin differently.#MeToo: people were raped, assaulted, harassed and bullied and found the courage to speak up under incredible pressure.— Frith 🍃 (@pluckyloser) March 26, 2018
These are not comparable things. Shame on you.
Need an immediate apology and retraction of the entirely inappropriate and misuse of #MeToo— Linda Teese (@teeser) March 25, 2018
Smith and Bancroft later admitted to a plan to tamper with the ball in their third test against South Africa.