Martin Smith: Ken's in the wrong camp with stance on sex and football
Poor old Ken Tomlinson.
For all I know he may be a doting grandad, a considerate neighbour, an outwardly decent sort of bloke.
But he’s also a man whose openly sexist views on female football commentators put him close to the same camp as the morons who chanted obscenities at a relative of Chris Wilder on Friday night.
I’m sure Ken would be appalled by such a suggestion and he has every right to like whichever commentators he pleases.
But consider this Ken.
Your views on women’s sports reporters expressed in Friday’s Star letters had readers in a froth.
The BBC’s Jacqui Oatley good-humouredly put you in your place with a tweet from the press box at Watford showing herself, football writer Amy Lawrence and Sun football reporter Vicky Orvice at work.
Then, in response to an email from The Star asking for further comment yesterday Ken sent this:
“I welcome Jacqui Oatley’s comments on my stance regarding women on BBC Final Score, but she won’t spoil my Saturday because I don’t watch anymore.
“I stand by fully in what I wrote in my letter. A lot more people I’m sure, women included, feel the same.
“I don’t want to look at flashing eyelashes, gloss lippy, and designer clothes. “I see England Women’s football have got Phil Neville as their manager, so much for Sue Smith with her 93 caps.
“Its easy to call me sexist, my letter was not intended to be so, and nor am I sexist but it’s a man’s game. Boys will be boys, and girls will be girls.”
In his world Ken doesn’t see that there might be a connection between a negative and dismissive view of female football commentators and echoes of the pillaging mob among those fans who chanted their filth on Friday.
In front of their families 95 per cent of the sons, fathers and grandfathers involved in the chanting would be appalled by such talk.
Ken would probably never demean himself but both draw on stereotypes of women as inferior, fit only for menial work and a reproductive function, outsiders to a ‘man’s world’.
But this is the 21st century and we know that having women in jobs that used to be an all-male club is better for everyone.
And the way to get rid of the sickening songs is don’t join in.
There’s banter and there’s sexism.
They aren’t the same and people like Ken and any guilty fans need to know the difference.