Brazil FA chief Marco Aurelio Cunha made some pretty sexist comments towards women’s football on Tuesday.
Cunha made his stupid thoughts public in a telephone interview. And he got a big reaction.
“Now the women are getting more beautiful, putting on make-up,” he said. “They go in the field in an elegant manner. Women’s football used to copy men’s football. Even the jersey model, it was more masculine.
“We used to dress the girls as boys, so the team lacked a spirit of elegance, femininity. Now the shorts are a bit shorter, the hair styles are more done up. It’s not a woman dressed as a man.”
Many women have been offended by his comments, and rightfully so. He makes it seem that the only reason people are becoming interested in women’s football is because the players are getting prettier or trying harder to look nice on the pitch. When in reality, the game of women’s football has evolved an incredible amount, even in the last fours years.
To put it into perspective, FIFA 16 will have women’s national teams in its video game for the first time ever. The United States Women’s National Team has also seen a large increase in fanbase, having 26,467 fans attend this year’s Women’s World Cup send-off game, as compared to 5,852 in 2011’s send off game.
The increase in interest has nothing with the looks of the players. ESPN and former USWNT player Kate Markgraf explained the real reason.
“The beauty of soccer is how it’s played,” she said on ESPN’s The Daily W. “I think it’s a horrible thing to say. I hope it gets as much media attention it possibly can. Because if we raise awareness to this type of sexist comment, we have a better chance of changing them.”
The really shocking thing about Cunha making these comments is that he is the head of the Brazilian Women’s Team Federation. His comments will trickle down to the coaches, staff and players – making them feel like they have to look prettier to gain more attention. This is just wrong, and totally regressive.
Anyway, the genuine stars of women’s football are a bit too busy to get drawn into a war of words with this idiot right now. They are preoccupied with competing in a top-class sporting event – one that has gripped North America, as well as millions of television viewers around the globe.