Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Richard Scudamore keeps his job

Premier League chiefs gathered to decide the fate of Richard Scudamore yesterday and decided that he should keep his job even though he hates women.

This is great news because all he did was send horrendously sexist emails.  On any given day I probably send about 20 sexist emails, mostly about gash, or how many tits I saw on the weekend, or how women are only good at ironing and should be chained to the oven.  Am I right guys?  We all think it, right?!  That's what Martin Samuel from the Daily Mail told us anyway:
Gash. Not a word I’d use, personally, but Robbie Burns favoured it in 1793 and we still teach his stuff in schools. You may know a Burns song, Green Grow The Rashes, which is enjoyed as a paean to time spent in the company of women.
Yes, that is Martin Samuel, SPORTSWRITER OF THE YEAR, trying to compare the use of the word gash from a 200 year old Robbie Burns poem to an incredibly important chief executive acting out with the lads on an email chain.

The fun doesn't stop there though!
So while the lawyer friend who sent the crude reference — Scudamore didn’t use the word himself, or indeed repeat it in any correspondence — isn’t about to win awards for sophistication, he was engaging in bawdy talk that has been around for centuries. It doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make it the crime of the century, either. He was just being an ass. Sometimes men are.
Now forgive me for questioning this, but I think there's a difference between making jokes when the joke is you are sexist and making a joke which is just sexist.  He may not have said it himself but surely you shouldn't end up in a conversation at work where that sort of thing forms part of what is being discussed?

To break character for a second, the jokes on this site that are particularly harsh on women are only (subjectively) funny because no-one could possibly think those things in real life...... the punchline of the joke is the idiot making it.  At no point in private emails to work mates have I ever deemed it funny to suggest that a female member of the team needs shagged.  Certainly not when I've been sober anyway, which is about 60% of the time.  And we're back.

The modern Twitter witch hunt brigade is a dangerous beast, and the Daily Mail are about as bad a perpetrator of this as anyone.  The difference in this case is that Richard Scudamore is one of the most powerful men in world sport -  a high flying chief executive of one of the most successful brands on the planet.  It's unfair to impose different rules on different people, but with responsibility there comes a certain degree of foresight.

I'm not sure if he should be fired either, but in this current Game of Thrones celebrity-deity universe where someone has to fall on a sword when they betray any sort of human nature and make a mistake, he probably should.  And for the position of authority that he's in, the things he's said are largely indefensible and I suspect he'll regret making them eternally.  Or at least leaving them on a paper trail.

It shouldn't distract from the point though, as Mike Calvin illustrates 100 million times better than I could in this article:
The Head Boy of the billionaires’ ball club is trapped in a perfect storm of opprobrium. Accusations of sexism, at a time when women’s sport is gaining long-overdue recognition and the equality agenda is paramount, are calamitous. 
Why should we be so diverted by a 54-year-old businessman who behaves with the puerility of a 14-year-old schoolboy? Scudamore, developer of a global sporting phenomenon, will not appreciate the irony that he may become an unintended victim of the culture he helped to create.
Scudamore has been foolish rather than malicious. On balance he is a better man than the pompous oaf who quietly terrorised the FA many moons ago. But times have changed. Losing his job may be unfair but, as those who have suffered because of his autocratic nature will attest, life is not fair.
Live by the brand, die by the brand.
According to the BBC Scudamore may still have to face an independent enquiry over his actions.  In this crazy, crazy of world sexism where an appalling lack of respect for women still exists, something must be done.  How that enquiry turns out, nobody can say, but we can guess.  So if you think Richard Scudamore should stay, send a picture of your tits with the hashtag #yes to us.  No fatties.