Scottish Football Writers’ Association Dinner

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th May 2022.

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Photo of Joe FitzPatrick Joe FitzPatrick Scottish National Party

I am sure that the First Minister and others across the chamber will join me in condemning reports of sexist, racist and homophobic comments at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association gala dinner and will offer support to those who walked out in protest. Although I recognise that an apology has been issued, does the First Minister agree that what happened appears to be a shocking illustration of the outdated discriminatory attitudes that still exist in football and, indeed, in journalism, and which need to be eradicated?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Yes, I very much agree with those sentiments. From what I have read about what occurred at that particular awards dinner, it was unacceptable. I pay tribute to Eilidh Barbour and others, who courageously took a stand against it and spoke out. It is never easy for any woman to speak out in that way, particularly in what is traditionally a man’s world, and Eilidh Barbour and her colleagues deserve credit for doing so.

What we have seen over the past week—that is one example; I think that another has been reported—is that sexism and misogyny still run far too deep in our society and it is a reminder that they must be tackled. It is also a reminder that that starts with male behaviour and that it is male behaviour that we must see changed.