Joey Barton dismisses sexist claims and slams ‘woke agenda’ of female pundits in men’s football

Joey Barton dismisses sexist claims and slams ‘woke agenda’ of female pundits in men’s football
Alanna Cunnane
Alanna Cunnane

Joey Barton has defended his comments online in which he remarked that “women shouldn't be talking with any kind of authority in the men's game” and that he can’t take anything female pundits say “serious in the men's arena.”

Speaking on ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’, he stated that his credentials as a former player and fledgling manager make him a “bonafide expert” in the area, and that “this kind of tokenism…is ruining the game.”

“It’s nothing to do with sexism at all,” he added.

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He doubled down on his point by condemning “journalistic standards” within this area and that female commentators, pundits and co commentators, should they be allowed to continue to “rise” will “ruin the experience of watching elite level men’s football.”

“Everywhere you turn now there’s, what I would deem, an unqualified opinion,” he said.

“It’s to fuel this woke agenda and if we’re not careful we’re going to increase sexism massively because it’s got to be a true meritocracy to have people who are qualified for those roles.”

Morgan followed up those thoughts asking what it was about these women that made them in Joey Barton’s words, “unqualified” to talk about men’s football, to which he replied that “you have to be there on merit.”

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“There’s a lot of similarities between both sports, absolutely…but the men’s game is just played at a completely different speed, a completely different skillset needed. For someone to stand there and say ‘I would have done this in this situation’, or ‘he’s made a mistake’ there, who have no experience of that… and it’s not just one or two, it’s been taking over,” he said.

“It ruins the experience for most men and it’s the men’s game.

“I don’t want to come across as sexist, I’m absolutely not. I've a wonderful daughter, wonderful wife, my grandmother, and a big matriarch.

“I want women at men’s games… but if we’re going to talk about the technical nuances of elite level football and we want to educate the audience then we must do that with the most credible people, not people who tick boxes or fill quotas.”

Certain examples of female commentators and presenters were then put to Joey Barton , Laura Woods and Alex Scott for instance, and was asked why he thinks people like that should be excluded from the men’s game.

“I’m not saying that, if you’ve earned the right to be there with credibility and hard work over a long period you should absolutely be there,” he said.

“The women’s game is thriving…but it’s almost like if I decide Sunday I’m going to go to the formula 1 and me saying I’d have done this if I was Lewis Hamilton in this corner and I’d have done that.

“If someone turned around and asked me what I was on about, I’d say well I drive a car, I’ve got a driver's licence. Yeah, but one’s going at 200mph and the other’s going at maybe 80 or 70 tops.

“To stand there pontificating with authority…it’s infuriating.”

Joey Barton has previously played for Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queen’s Park Rangers, Burnley and Rangers, and he’s also dipped his toes into management, although without success as of yet. He acted as Fleetwood Town boss from 2018 to 2021 before taking over Bristol Rovers, where he was relieved of his duties as of October following one win in five matches to open the season.

“We've got to call it for what it is: the world's gone crazy,” he added.

He originally posted these comments on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and has been responding to replies in recent days.

He labels those who disagree with his points as “eunuchs”, or castrated men.

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