Mary Earps: Comments Like Joey Barton's Reflect Broader 'Misogynistic' Issue In Football

Mary Earps: Comments Like Joey Barton's Reflect Broader 'Misogynistic' Issue In Football
HerSport Editor
HerSport Editor

By Pearl Byrne

In an interview with the March issue of Women's Health UK magazine, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner indirectly responded to Joey Barton’s ongoing sexist online comments and echoed Chelsea boss Emma Hayes’ claim that football is “routinely used to dealing with systemic misogyny” and it is a society-wide issue.

Ex-footballer Joey Barton has created a number of disrespectful social media posts towards women's football, including the Lionesses and Manchester United goalkeeper.

Barton recently gave a very back-handed response to Earps winning BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year. Originally posted “Well done Mary.” he then posted "Sports Personality of the Year! More f****** nonsense. Well done to all involved."

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Barton went further to state: "So the best sports person this year is… A Women Goalie. Lost in a couple of finals this year. Not won a sausage. So popular that Nike didn't even sell a replica jersey before tournament. You telling me all those who jumped on that bandwagon, haven't voted in the BBC nonsense? Good luck to Mary. Hope she makes a few quid."

In response to Barton’s statements and the border issue of misogyny in football, Earps said: “It’s just one of those where it’s hard to give a calm response. But I don’t think having a more, I don’t know, aggressive response actually helps our cause. That’s the irony of the whole situation.”

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“And I think anyone who’s a woman knows that; it’s not just football. I don’t think there are many women in the world that will have not experienced sexism and misogyny of some kind.”

“Sport is a vehicle for change, but it’s also a representation of society,” Earps explained. “The (sexist) comments on that (video of Emma, speaking at a press conference) are really telling. This isn’t just what one person thinks, this is what people across the country think – probably in the world. And that’s the biggest disappointment to me."

In essence, Earps' comments shed light on the complex intersection of sports and societal attitudes towards gender, emphasising the need for continued efforts to challenge and address misogyny within the football community and beyond.

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