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Sometimes you need to ask a stupid question!

sexism Jun 22, 2022

"What hair gel do you use?!" 

So I admit it is a dumb question (and one I knew I’d get a tonne of stick for). I’d even have rolled my eyes myself at such a question. After a great performance on his Chelsea Premier League debut it was certainly not one he was expecting to be asked.

As a Premier League reporter it’s my job to speak to the players after the game and ask them about the match. He’d run around for 90 minutes and put in a monumental performance, but it made me laugh that not a hair was out of place!

Here’s the thing though, I’ve been interviewing footballers for over 15 years and the one thing the fans always tell me is “Where is the personality? They are always so cliché etc. etc.

When I started out, I just tried desperately to fit in. I'd ask questions like Geoff Shreeves or Gary Lineker so as not to stand out. But over time I realised all my post-match interviews were blending into one.

The change happened when I started working for a Malaysian channel (Astro SuperSport). My bosses told me to try and do things differently, get a bit of personality out, of the players and so I felt I had the backing. That allowed me and encouraged me to throw in a cheeky question here and there and drag a bit of personality out of the player. 

Trust me, it takes courage to do it, people forget how many other journalists are standing around you not to mentioned the press officer, and I know what kind of backlash I’ll receive, but it’s how I want to do things. I have earned the right to do it and it's helped me get to know the players a little better too. 

When I posted it on twitter after the game it received over 100 thousand views within 24 hours. Many thought it was funny, as intended, but of course there were the trolls. 

“Bit of flirting there, get a room” One said.

“sh*t journalism”

“They wonder why nobody takes birds seriously. Vacuous 101”

“Really? You are representative of women in the sector yet you chose to ask that question?”

Of course I knew I’d get this, and I wonder if a man would receive quite the same outcry.

Of course not, because I am ‘representing 'women’ apparently. Not ‘representing reporters.’

So when you hear me ask about someone's hair or outfit, it's not because I don't know about football, it's how I want to do things. My way.