People

Ex-England footballer Alex Scott is still subjected to sexist abuse every single day

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
Alex Scott is a pundit for the BBC and Sky

Yes, it’s 2019 and women in sport are still being sent sexist abuse on Twitter.

It’s tough being a woman playing sport, from being told to hide “flabby stomachs” while swimming to being subjected to stale and sexist advertising campaigns and being banned from playing in male-only snooker halls. It’s enough to make a woman feel unwelcome.

And it’s only worse if you’re a professional, as the likes of Serena Williams, Caster Semenya, the American football team, Nicole Hanselmann, and countless others can attest.

For some, like ex-England defender Alex Scott, life continues to be difficult even after their professional career on the pitch has ended.

You may also like

What the Caster Semenya case says about misogynoir and transmisogyny in sport – and beyond

Scott played for Arsenal as well as other teams and earned 140 caps for England before retiring in 2017. She was part of the BBC’s team of World Cup pundits in 2018 and is a regular pundit for both the BBC and Sky News.

But despite her expertise, is still subjected to sexist abuse on social media.

Speaking to the BBC, Scott said: “Twitter is there for everyone to see. I think I get it [sexist abuse] every single day now.”

We can’t read the minds of those who direct abuse at Scott, but we can only imagine they feel insecure about a knowledgeable, confident woman having the gall to give her expert opinion on men’s football.

Former England footballer Alex Scott is subjected to sexist abuse on Twitter "every single day"
Former England footballer Alex Scott is subjected to sexist abuse on Twitter “every single day”

But with her visibility, Scott is inspiring the next generation of young women who want to play sport. She told the BBC that she wouldn’t quit social media because that mean the trolls had won, and added: “What keeps me going is knowing that I’m helping. People are now coming up to me on the street and are saying exactly that.”

There has been progress in gender equality when it comes to sport. A new all-female motorsports race series has just launched, and the first race aired on Channel 4. The BBC’s Summer of Women in Sport this June and July will see women’s sport across all its channels, in the same way that men’s sport is shown. 

You may also like

The feminist race for Formula One equality - why we should talk about the W Series

These are great moves, but sport will only be truly equal when we’re able to stop talking about women’s football, or women’s tennis, or women’s cycyling, and just talk about football, tennis and cycling.

As Scott said: “We’ll get to the stage when I’m not regarded as a female pundit, I’m just a pundit.

“When we get to that point we’re getting somewhere.

“Me sitting there being strong enough to give my opinions in the way that I do it is normalising it.”

Scott, we applaud you.

Images: Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images, Molly Darlington/AMA/Getty Images

Topics

Share this article

Author

Sarah Shaffi

Recommended by Sarah Shaffi

  • People

    What the Caster Semenya case says about misogynoir and transmisogyny in sport – and beyond

    Paula Akpan explores the wider ramifications of the decision against Caster Semenya.

    Posted by
    Paula Akpan
    Published
  • Visible Women

    The new feminist motorsport series

    The W Series is set to transform motorsports and make women racing drivers more visible in a big way

    Posted by
    Hannah Mendelsohn
    Published
  • Life

    Exclusive: Clare Balding gets real about how we can inspire body positivity in young girls

    “We can change girls from being worried that they aren’t skinny enough, that their jeans aren’t size zero,” says the veteran sports presenter.

    Posted by
    Chloe Gray
    Published
  • Life

    This snooker player was banned from playing – because of her gender

    Yes, there are still "men-only" clubs

    Posted by
    Sarah Shaffi
    Published
  • People

    Serena Williams’ Nike ad isn’t just marketing – it’s a mission statement

    Yes, celebrity endorsements are designed to sell products. But Williams’ Nike ad is also a powerful rebuke to the racism and sexism she’s faced

    Posted by
    Sarah Shaffi
    Published

Other people read

More from People

More from Sarah Shaffi