Considering Alan Swann’s sexist and gross article in the Peterborough Telegraph (lovingly surmised on Teesra.com – he links to Swann’s article, I won’t), I thought it would behoove me to write a quick follow-up to my post from a few days ago that concerned ladies cricket.
I don’t find ladies sports dull. Not in the slightest. I highly enjoy the subtle nature of ladies football and basketball, just as two examples. I do not think it’s a shame that lady tennis players earn the same as gentleman tennis players, and I do not think Mr. Swann’s statements were of a “biological” nature – I think they were the statements of sexist blowhard.
The reasons I gave in my previous post for not watching ladies cricket (or baseball) can surely be misinterpreted as sexist, but that was not my intention in the slightest. My reasons were that men’s cricket is quite subtle, and not as reliant on brute strength, and therefore I found no reason to watch the ladies version of the game. It is the same reason I don’t watch Serie A or Ligue Un or La Liga: because the English Premiere League, while not necessarily better or more exciting, simply ticks all my footballing boxes, not because those other leagues are dull. There are only just so many hours in a day.
The games are different enough that one can enjoy both. And I am looking forward to giving ladies cricket the chance it deserves.
Mr. Swann wrote this article, and his editors published it, knowing full well the kind of reaction it was going to get. It is impression whoring of the worst kind. He should have his press credentials revoked. Neither he nor his editors should be allowed media access of any kind to any official sporting event in any league: men, women, or whatever. That is the only way to stop this kind of article from seeing the light of day.
In fact, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that while Mr. Swann is a massive tool, he probably doesn’t 100% believe the sentiments in his articles. As he freely admits on Twitter: writing controversial articles that go viral is his job, it is what he is paid to do. Which makes him even more of a massive tool, as he is turning journalism into a laughing stock. He is an entertainer, not a journalist. He and is ilk (Rush Limbaugh, for one) are everything that is wrong with modern journalism – and while that might not seem like a big deal, strong journalism is a key facet of any strong democracy. And the only way to protect us all from these kinds of blowhards is for the FA and the ECB and the like, in the case of Swann, to ban Peterborough Telegraph “journalists” from the press box.
One might argue that the above suggestion is a violation of freedom of the press – a right only tenuously upheld in the UK anyway. But I don’t think so. Mr. Swann and the Peterborough Telegraph can print whatever the hell they want in the interest of a few more banner impressions, but that does not mean that the FA and the ECB have to allow their employees into their grounds.
You want to print shit like that about our athletes? Fine. But you are going to have to buy a ticket like everyone else.