Barton blames 'woke agenda' in fresh criticism of female broadcasters

Joey Barton doubles down on his criticism of female broadcasters working in men’s football in Piers Morgan interview as he blames ‘woke agenda’ and insists ‘it’s not to do with sexism at all’

  • Barton said the world was ‘going crazy’ due to the uptick in female broadcasters 
  • 41-year-old initially shared a series of sexist social media posts on Wednesday
  • IAN LADYMAN reveals the GREATEST weapon a manager has against a journalist – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

Joey Barton doubled down on his controversial criticism of female broadcasters in men’s football in an incendiary appearance on Piers Morgan’s talkshow on Thursday evening. 

The former Manchester City man previously shared a series of misogynistic posts on social media on Wednesday that floated the idea that ‘women shouldn’t be talking with any kind of authority in the men’s game’.

‘Come on. Let’s be serious,’ Barton added, before suggesting: ‘Any man who listens to Women commentary or co-comms needs their heads testing…’

Barton, 41, refused to back down and continued with posts that derided City hiring a woman to present social media coverage, and called out the ‘woke’ decisions he believes are made by broadcasters over the figures featured on their coverage. 

‘TV must be going out the window if you get a double dose of XX on the comms team for your next big match,’ the 41-year-old added. 

Joey Barton made an appearance on Piers Morgan: Uncensored on Thursday evening

The former Premier League footballer sparked fresh controversy after hitting out at women being given jobs in men’s football

In two separate posts he criticised both women commentators and pundits across football

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Barton showed little sign of a change of heart with his appearance on Piers Morgan: Uncensored after being offered an opportunity to air his views by his former Question Time sparring partner. 

Describing himself a ‘bonafide expert’ of the game, the former Bristol Rover boss called out what he believes is a ‘woke agenda’ fueling the decision to hire women as pundits, commentators, or co-commentators – but argued that he wasn’t sexist. 

‘I don’t want to see sexism in football, but if we don’t debate (the role of women in football broadcasting) properly, this is just going to rise and rise, and ruin the experience of watching elite-level men’s football,’ Barton said when asked by Morgan if the language of his social media posts had been deliberately inflammatory. 

‘Everywhere you turn now, there’s an unqualified opinion pontificating about the sport I love, and it’s ruining my experience – to fuel this woke agenda, and it’s going to increase sexism massively, because it has to be a true meritocracy. We have to have people who are qualified to do those roles.’

When prompted on why he didn’t feel women were qualified, Barton stressed that it was ‘absolutely not about’ women having not played at the top level of the men’s game. 

Instead, he argued, he was against ‘tokenism’ before adding: ‘Obviously it helps to talk about the men’s game if you’ve played at a higher level, because it gives you a unique experience.’

A number of posts referenced the ‘nonsense’ of women being handed roles in the men’s game

Barton argued that he wasn’t ‘sexist’ but that he believed in a ‘meritocracy’ instead – which he believes isn’t being carried out

With some contradiction, he noted: ‘There’s a lot of similarities between both sports, but the men’s game is played at a completely different speed, with a different skillset needed. For someone to stand there and say “I would have done this”, or “He’s made a mistake” – who have no experience of that…

‘It’s not just one or two, it (football broadcasting has) been taken over.

‘I don’t want to come across as sexist, I’ve got a wonderful wife, wonderful daughter, grandmother.

‘We want it to be diverse and inclusive, but it’s got to be credible.’ 

When queried as to whether he felt he could adequately cover Champions League or World Cup football – having never featured in either competition – Barton added: ‘Everybody’s entitled to comment. I can talk about football, I can talk about taekwondo, but it’s about credibility and journalistic standards, rather than tokenism.’

The 41-year-old added that he believes that ‘journalistic standards’ are not being met

Barton has previously thrown his support behind the #HERGAMETOO initiative – which aims to fight against sexism in sport

Barton was keen to stress that he was willing to forgive journalistic error – despite citing an example of commentary which featured a description of a goal he thought was incorrect to support his argument – and urged caution from broadcasters. 

‘Think of those great commentators (such as Alan Hansen)… their opportunities are going to be restricted, because ex-female players are getting those opportunities, so we’ve got to be careful,’ he said.

Barton later added: ‘We’ve got to call it for what it is: the world’s gone crazy’. 

The ex-QPR player – who is currently unemployed after being sacked by Bristol Rovers in October – refused to be drawn on which women had prompted his outburst, which appeared to be linked to Amazon Prime’s coverage of the midweek Premier League fixtures.   


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