Sutton sticks up for Rodgers in 'Good Girl' sexism controversy

Sutton sticks up for Rodgers in 'Good Girl' sexism controversy

Former Celtic player and current football pundit Chris Sutton has claimed that Rodgers' comments towards a female BBC reporter were more down to title pressure than him being overtly sexist

Last week, Celtic boss Rodgers came under fire for comments he made to a female reporter from the BBC after his side's last-minute winner against Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership last weekend. The Glasgow side won thanks to goals from Adam Idah and Luis Palma deep into stoppage time. However, Rodgers' comments to the BBC’s Jane Lewis afterward made headline news in Scotland.

Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers was asked by Ms. Lewis about his side's role in the Scottish title race and their place in it. Celtic are two points behind league leaders Rangers, and some feel that Celtic's destiny has been written as the second-best team in Scotland.

Lewis had asked Rodgers to explain himself after he told her that, in terms of the Scottish Premiership title race, "the story has already been written about this group, but we will write our own story."

Lewis then pushed and said, “You don’t want to give us a bit more insight into what you mean by that?” to which Rodgers retorted, “You know exactly what I mean.” Lewis then firmly replied, “I’m actually not sure; I do know exactly what you mean. Can you tell us? People might be interested in knowing.”

Rodgers repeatedly interrupted her by saying, “No, no, no," before Lewis added, “But you’re the one that’s bringing that up, so can you not give us some more on it?” Abruptly cutting her off, Rodgers said, “Okay? Done. Good girl. Well done.”

The "good girl" comment created a firestorm on social media, with some calling Rodgers "a dinosaur."

Women's groups like the Scottish Feminist Network and For Women Scotland slammed the former Liverpool boss and asked for a quick apology to be made.

Rodgers then explained that he spoke to Ms. Lewis and that she wasn't offended by his "good girl" comments, but offered no apology.

"I've spoken to Jane, and she wasn't offended; we had a laugh about it. She'll continue to ask me awkward questions, I'm sure, but I see her every week. We've got good relations, like I have with most people in my life, whether that's professional or social.

"So I find it saddening as much as anything; I'm not that type of person; it's not who I am or how I'm built. But sadly for society now, people are just looking and trying to find ways to somehow bring you down if they can, and that's not nice."

Lewis also broke her silence, saying, "Clearly, the interview on Sunday has become a talking point. I don't believe there was any offence meant by Brendan Rodgers, and for my part, there was none taken."

The situation has opened up a debate around sexism in football and the actions needed to eradicate it, but according to Chris Sutton, the former Celtic forward, Rodgers' comments haven't come from him being a flaming misogynist, more from him being under pressure in the Scottish Premiership title race.

"I work up here a lot, and I understand the environment," Sutton said on the It's all Kicking off podcast. "Up here, I think Brendan is a manager under pressure. There's a title race on at this moment in time. And I think he'd maybe wake up this morning and accept that maybe he'd made a mistake. But some of the stuff I've seen online about "it's casual sexism".

"I don't think that Jane Lewis—and actually, it was a really good question about the narrative, and I'll come to that—but she's not taking any offence. I mean, I went to interview Brendan for Sky at the start of the season, and, on a couple of occasions, she called me "lad.".

"That's his terminology. After most press conferences, you hear him say to some of the press guys, ""Good man,good  lad," or whatever."

Celtic's next game will be against Hearts on Sunday.