Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Offside remarks

Andy Gray and Richard Keys are in trouble because of their off-air remarks about a female assistant referee. Just in case you didn't see the headlines following the Liverpool Wolves match on Saturday they are heard chatting about how women in general and Sian Massey in particular don't know the offside law. Richard also managed to say "Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her." These views, of course, are "totally unacceptable" Take Rio Ferdinand's view on Twitter: "I'm all for women refereeing in football, discrimination should not happen in our game at all ... prehistoric views if u think otherwise."

Then there is Karren Brady, West Ham vice-chairman, who is unhappy that only females in the football industry are judged by their gender. She reckons this is "categorically wrong". Keys' and Gray's response was the predictably dismissive "See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love". Which, if it is intended to downplay fears about sexism, fails on many levels.

This issue isn't about the offside rule, it is about sexism. I have no scientific evidence for this but I would guess that in general if I needed to know the offside rule then I would be better asking a male audience. However, Sian Massey is not some randomly chosen female. She is a highly trained and experienced official who has proven her ability. She is also one of only three women who officiate in professional football in England.

Furthermore, on Google searching, I discover that "No one in the western world understands the offside rule"
That being the case, it would seem to be wrong to single out only the females for criticism. And then I discover that there is a perfectly straightforward and comprehensible explanation of the offside rule, but it is one that can only be understood by girls
So maybe I was wrong to assume that a male audience would understand the rule better than a female audience. Maybe it's the other way around.

Change the world.

1 comment:

  1. Yes and the best of it was that she was right and these two experts got the offside decision wrong. I understand that Andy Gray gets paid 1.7m a year for his expertise. Aye right.