So Andy Gray has been fired and Richard Keys is in serious trouble for their sexist remarks about Sian Massey, a female who was the referee’s assistant in a Premier League game. This prompted the inevitable question about prejudices against women.
The problem is not just from the fans but (as Gray and Keys showed) also from within the game. These stigmas prevent women, gay men and women and people from ethnic minorities from taking part in the game at a more involved level, not merely as fans. This in turn means those communities do not have role models who will compel them to enter the game. For example, how many openly gay footballers are there? How many black managers are there in the whole of the Football League? How many women pundits and commentators are there?
Until those ‘figures’ are in place it will be very difficult to remove the stigmas.