Thursday, 20 June 2019

Change Perceptions, Not The Game

As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of women's football. So I'm in my element right now as it's the World Cup in France. The BBC have really gone to town this year, broadcasting games on the prestigious BBC One as opposed to the usual out-of-the-way screenings on just BBC2 or BBC4. This, along with their slogan for their coverage 'Change the Game', suggests that they are heavily committed to giving both the incredible Lionesses representing our country and women's football itself the attention and recognition that both they and it deserves.

Unfortunately, I fear it's a case of changing perceptions that is really required, rather than changing the game. After all, the game is perfect - far better than the men's in fact - so, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. No, what irks me is the lazy stereotypical humour I've heard on the BBC since the tournament commenced. On Mock the Week last week, the panel wondered if, seeing as the England team are called Lionesses, they change the badge on their shirts to incorporate eyelashes. Really, we're still doing that kind of gag? Whilst Romesh Ranganathan on his show The Ranganation joked that no one was watching or indeed interested in the 'scrappy' performance of our ladies. Meanwhile social media is full of Neanderthal blokes 'joking' that these women should be at home making the tea rather than playing football. Even the BBC's main commentator, Jonathan Pearce, couldn't resist referencing England's last World Cup win in 1966 within the opening minute of the very first game.

It has taken the BBC years to wake up to the fact that there's been a steadily growing interest in the women's game. Such a shame that their 'talent' elsewhere haven't realised that fact yet. What's the betting that will change should England continue to do well in the tournament? 

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