Women in sport don’t need to be told to work harder

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I am a female that has worked in sport, mainly football, for more than five years and I recently read something that left me infuriated – but not at all surprised.

You can read the article here, or don’t, we’ve included relevant quotes below.

To a group of men in sport that still hold old school attitudes, women already have to work harder to prove ourselves. My experience working in sport has highlighted that these men do not believe women have the same understanding of sport that men have and do not work hard enough.

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Our governing bodies are taking steps to help elevate women to positions in sport that have historically been dominated by men, and while this is a step in the right direction, the article I recently read highlights a popular opinion in the football industry. That women now expect to be given high-level roles because of the support the governing bodies have given us.

The article in question is filled with quotes from an experienced technical director who said women need “to commit and sacrifice so they can get to a level that is going to make them knowledgeable enough to coach at a high level, and this takes years of experience”.

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The article is filled with quotes that imply women do not deserve coaching roles because only “a dozen or so of good female coaches that invest in themselves and are committed” and goes on to say, “let’s not go and think we can have it in equal numbers”. Why not?

My experience working in football has exposed me to a multitude of coaches that do not demonstrate commitment or sacrifice, and all of these coaches have been men.

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I will not go into my disgust reading that “women are mothers” and “family comes first” because these excuses have been used to deny women opportunities for years, but as this technical director states that he has “always been a supporter of women players and coaches”, I expect more.

How are women supposed to prove that we work just as hard as men, understand the game just as well as men and show the same commitment and dedication as great male coaches if we are constantly denied opportunities due to the misogynistic attitudes of men

Rather than complaining that women are not good enough and do not deserve these opportunities, help impart the knowledge you have from holding a position women have been denied for years and help female coaches grow and develop until we are at a point where the numbers are equal.

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Saying that you “support them” and I want them eventually to be able to have opportunities in the women’s game and in the men’s game, but only if they are willing to sacrifice, develop, be patient and study the game, not just think it will be given to them is the condescending, misogynistic attitude we have been trying to eradicate from sport for years now.

Women do not need to be told to sacrifice, we already do.

Women do not need to be told to be patient, we have already waited long enough.

Women do not need to be told to study the game, we already know and love the game just as much as men do.

Women do not think opportunities “will be given to them”, our experience has already taught us the opposite.

We have to fight harder for every opportunity we have been given because of men like this.

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Women in sport don’t need to be told to work harder

I am a female that has worked in sport, mainly football, for more than five years and I recently read something that left me...
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Madeline Riley
25 year-old freelance media professional, sports nut and sneakerhead.