Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, SNP MSP Emma Roddick said that far more must be done to tackle sexism in Scottish football, in light of a recent survey by the Courier and the Press & Journal on the subject.
The investigation by the two newspapers, which featured a comprehensive survey of 119 players, officials and fans, found that 60% of women involved in the sport have experienced sexism, and a staggering 43% had experienced verbal abuse.
Speaking in the debate, Roddick talked about her own experience of sexism in football, saying:
“At lunchtime kick-abouts in school, I was chased away by the boys who felt that the only way a girl should be involved in football is when they decided it was an effective weapon for the back of my head.
“That attitude carries on to adulthood.
“It is very, very clear to me that there are a lot of men, out there who use football as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour.
“They use a big game as an excuse to drink too much, cause a disturbance, and sometimes harm each other and their friends and family, because that’s ‘just what you do’.
“It’s not just what you do.
“And it is a problem.
“The attitude some take towards football in Scotland ruins it for other people, and it puts folk, often women and girls, off taking an interest and becoming footballers themselves.
“Only 8% of the respondents this investigation said that they felt enough was being done by the football industry to reduce discriminatory behaviour.
“It’s our game, too, and, right now, we need support.”