Tonight, the Celtic Women’s team will play in their massive match against Glasgow City, a game which might well decide their title race.
It’s going to be a huge game, and I’d prefer to be preparing to enjoy it on its merits, as a spectacle, without extraneous nonsense getting in the way. But some extraneous nonsense does need to be tackled come what may.
Yesterday, Celtic’s women’s player Jacynta slammed Ian Crocker of Sky for banging on about her personal life on the air.
In fact, he outed her relationship with Carl Starfelt in a breach of her right to privacy so stark I suspect Celtic had a few words to say about it behind the scenes. She was furious, and she was quite right to be furious.
Because, really, that’s nobody’s business at all.
Crocker might not realise it – let’s give him some modest benefit of the doubt – but what he’s done here is indulge in sexism. He’s treating her like some third rate celebrity, some manufactured PR confection, instead of a professional athlete.
This is football, we’re not dealing with pampered socialites here who spin little webs of intrigue against each other and compete for space in the tabloids. Crocker’s focus on who she’s dating … no male in football would be the subject of that kind of tabloidesque commentary. Starfelt himself hasn’t been. So what the Hell is this?
It’s another example of women in this sport not being taken as seriously as their male colleagues. That’s what it is, and although it’s a small example of it it’s something that she’s quite right to be pissed off about.
That and the blatant intrusion and violation of so many accepted norms that was involving in Crocker actually outing their relationship on the air, which is something else no male player would have had to put up with.
Who was being served by Crocker doing such a thing? I mean, I genuinely wonder who amongst the support actually cares about this stuff?
I’ve never cared about the dating lives of the men’s team, except when their wives or girlfriends get involved with the club through charitable endeavours or whatever … what the guys do on the pitch is really all that’s supposed to matter. It’s the same here.
Sky owes her an apology. Crocker owes her an apology.
More than anything else, these people have to give the women’s team the same respect they’d give the ranks of the male professionals. This stuff is for the Sunday morning binraker rags, not Sky Sports … and if this was a man’s private life that’s exactly where they would have left it.