Magpies Live suspension – Trust statement
The Magpies Live commentary service is currently suspended on account of remarks made by commentator Ian Livesey during the recent Boston United match. As the major financial backers of Magpies Live, we want to record our thanks to Ian for his work on the invaluable service over the years, and hope that some way can be found to keep Magpies Live going.
Regarding the reason for the suspension, we can do no better than to repeat the words of Trust chair Dave Tindall, who wrote the following in the North Ferriby programme this season:
“Over the past couple of years at work there have been massive steps forward in the area of diversity and inclusion including training in ‘Unconscious Bias’, the creation of a Women’s Network and greater support for the LGBT Community. The aim of these efforts is not some ‘loony left’, tokenism as the Daily Mail would have you believe, rather that everyone brings ‘the best version of themselves into the workplace.’ Create an open, tolerant and supportive environment and people will flourish.
You’re wondering where I’m going with this but having stood on the terraces and sat in stands for over 35 years I’m sorry to say that the ‘beautiful game’ still appears to mired in racist, sexist, misogynist attitudes from a previous generation which does the game no favours as we progress through the 21st century.
The spark for this piece was the presence of a female assistant referee at a recent game which provoked much ‘banter’ from the crowd about whether she was fit to do a ‘man’s job’, comments about her ‘doing the dishes’ and much worse. Such comments would at a push have been considered funny if delivered by Sid James in ‘Bless this House’ in 1975 but in 2018 it is frankly pathetic that women should be subjected to abuse whilst doing a job they love.
The casual use of degrading language also helps to perpetuate a macho environment in which weakness is regularly characterised in homophobic terms – e.g. “stop being soft you ****”. This again creates an atmosphere where diversity is not encouraged and it is understandable why there are no openly gay players in the modern game.
Thinking about players ‘being the best version of themselves in the workplace’ (i.e. on the field) – ask yourself whether you would operate at peak performance if you were crippled by fear of your true sexuality being exposed or whether you would prefer to work in the open, tolerant, environment mentioned previously? I know which one I would flourish in.
Now as you stand on the terraces think about the language you use and whether you are really giving the players and manager the best chance to succeed or whether casual racist, sexist and homophobic language is seeping through and undermining those on the pitch.
Let’s be proud of our team, celebrate the diversity of who we are and be inclusive of everyone who comes to Victory Park.”