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We should want athletes to speak their minds … and be wary when sponsors speak theirs

WA Today – Joyce’s comments about controversy, as if “controversy” were a measurable quantity with no values attached, were not of course about Kerr and the Matildas, but about Israel Folau and Rugby Australia and, for good measure, the ball-tampering affair and Cricket Australia, which Qantas also sponsors.

Summary

  • Joyce’s comments about controversy, as if “controversy” were a measurable quantity with no values attached, were not of course about Kerr and the Matildas, but about Israel Folau and Rugby Australia and, for good measure, the ball-tampering affair and Cricket Australia, which Qantas also sponsors.
  • A feature of the recent upsurge of interest in women’s sport in Australia has been the contrite, atonement-seeking attitudes of men, who advertise their admiration of women as a kind of badge of paternal feminism.
  • Outside the excellent coverage of specialists on SBS and elsewhere, there is still in the public discourse a deficit of the serious game analysis that accompanies the male codes, a gap that is filled in by an overall feel-good vibe, as if the key point of Australia’s excellence in women’s sport is not their skill and their endeavour, but that it shows how advanced we are, in terms of equality of the sexes, compared with the rest of the world.
  • This is all very convenient and easy, as long as we are not required to examine the sporting contests in depth, or come to terms with the complexities of personality and the diversity of attitudes among the individual women playing the sports.
  • There is still in the public discourse a deficit of the serious game analysis that accompanies the male codes, a gap that is filled in by an overall feel-good vibe,When you see the negative reaction to Kerr’s comments, a part of you wonders if we have advanced from Dawn Fraser’s time, when a female sporting champion was meant to be seen and would be severely punished if she was heard.


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Written by Cric Editor

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