Love sport, respect me!

In the wake of the All Blacks triumphs on the field and disgusting behaviour off the field, a person wonder how much respect does sportsmen really have for women.

The All Blacks rugby team are treated like royalty and indeed they are – they have proven to be the best rugby team in the world, with their recent achievement being a record of 17 consecutive wins. Steve Hansen’s troops achieve this goal  in style breaking another record by beating the Springboks 57-15 in South Africa.

However, off the field, the behaviour of these young men have one really worried. With scandal after scandal hitting New Zealand rugby.

1 The stripper’s allegations that Chiefs players sexually assaulted her during a team night out at the Mad Monday celebrations.
2 Promising teenager Losi Filipino vicious street attack on four people, including two women, in Wellington.
3 All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith admitted a recent toilet tryst with a mystery woman at a busy airport in Christchurch.
4 A Mid Canterbury Union player has been stood down after he was charged with assault with intent to commit rape.

While we can easily list all the New Zealand rugby players faults, I bet there are worst things happening elsewhere, which involve sports stars.   Like boxer Floyd Mayweather’s violent past against women, the death of Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.

The core problem is how do sports stars view women?

Are women simply there to entertain the overachieving team who just won a title, is she merely there to fit the role as the trophy wife (his fan where millions of women wait in line just to be the next Mrs).

We give teams like Manchester United (football), Barcelona (football), and New Zealand godlike status and excuse their behaviour because a win means more than anything to else.

It’s time we change the sexist sporting culture which we inherited. The male athlete ideology is driven by masculinity, which encourages  rude and aggressive behaviour, pornography consumption or the encouragement of group drinking.

Teach young men to value and respect women and teach young women to respect and value themselves.

For years women have struggled to gain equal opportunity and we have made loads of strides but unfortunately, there are some underlying issues we need to look at.

It’s not going to change immediately but we have to make small changes to get to the long-term goal as a society.

Support female athletes and do not make excuses for high profile male sports stars.  Sport is an entity loved by many and can be used as a vehicle to address issues such as violence against women.
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