AFL 2 years ago

Proud Female Footy Commentator!

  • Proud Female Footy Commentator!

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Gillon McLachlan speaks to the media during an AFL press conference at AFL House on June 20, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

This tirade going around regarding the Triple M guys “banter” about holding Caroline Wilson under water during what is supposed to have been great publicity for a worthwhile cause, MND and what was also said about Tony Shaw when he too made a joking comment about the same thing, has got me a bit irate and not for the reasons you all think.

I watched the NBA finals on TV and would have to say that the role women portray in the commentary, the TV shows etc is nothing short of admirable.  They are not regarded in any other way other than their role in commentating, reporting about a sport that they obviously love and have great knowledge about.  They are not demeaned in any way. They are not treated any differently and their opinions are not only valued but respected, whether other journalists agree with them or not.  This cannot be said for the female sports journalists in Australia, especially in footy.

Being a female sports lover and commentator, I have been told several times that I know nothing about the sport I love and follow passionately. That my opinion is nothing more than ill-informed female clap-trap. Triple M, SEN, even 3AW go on about women empowerment, yet not one of these radio stations have any female commentators on their footy programs. I probably know more about footy than a lot of males but my opinion is not really valid because I am a female. I watch the majority if not all of the weekend footy matches. I read the articles in the newspapers and read up on the statistics of a game. I can see and understand where Caroline Wilson is coming from and for that matter other female journalists.

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I listened to Eddie McGuire on 3AW and he said that female journalists should be treated the same as male journalists and that jibes such as the one made last weekend, should be in the context of Caroline Wilson’s role as a journalist, not as a female.  Fair point, but it is isn’t, because I cannot remember any time when a male journalist has stated that they would pay to keep someone underwater because they happen to ruffle a few feathers. Or that the implications made by this comment directed at any male journalist or commentator.  All I see and read is the footy programs both on radio and TV as being nothing more than boys clubs that is stuck in a time-warp of the 80’s.

This whole issue is not about the actual comments made by those buffoons on radio, but by the fact is that as whole, female sports commentators, especially in footy, are seen as nothing more than tokenistic representatives.  They are not respected or valued, and this is the real issue. So far this year with my own insight into footy and especially Carlton, I have not been that far off the mark.  I don’t expect to have my opinion agreed with and I value and love banter and trying to prove me wrong, with an intelligent and coherent debate.  But trying to tell me my opinion is worthless because I am a female, is where the Eddie McGuire’s, the Mick Malloy’s and the Luke Darcy’s have got it all wrong, because I probably know just as much if not more about the sport than you think and it is this aspect that is the basis of this whole issue. 

What was said about Caroline Wilson was wrong and any apologies are just token ones as actions speak far louder than words and if you really knew me, you would know that I have a great sense of humour, and can take a jibe or joke. The problem is when the jibe is for the most part directed at one certain section of a society that renders it insulting.  It should make no difference who writes about a sport, male or female, it is about the content of what was written. Respect the content and who wrote it, no matter who did and respect the fact that there are females out there in the sporting world who probably know more about footy than a lot of men. Nothing wrong with that.


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