Job search
Job Search

Sexism in the locker room

We must stay vigilant to ensure outdated, offensive attitudes do not return to sport

by Andy Reed | Published in Sports Management Mar Apr 2017 issue 130
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
The locker room has been accused of fostering outdated, offensive attitudes
The locker room has been accused of fostering outdated, offensive attitudes

As a former MP, it’s hard not to follow the political news daily. What politicians are thinking and doing is important to the work we do at the Sports Think Tank.

As Donald Trump settles in as the new president of the United States, many of us are shocked and unsettled. His words and actions seem to be giving rise to attitudes we thought were buried in the past.

When the leaked tapes of a past conversation exposed his nonchalant approach to sexual assault, I assumed he was finished as a serious contender. Clearly, I was wrong. However, his ‘locker-room banter’ explanation was – I believe – a serious wakeup call for the sports industry.

Unsurprisingly, male athletes across America and the UK took offence, saying that this kind of sexist chat doesn’t happen in their locker rooms. I too joined in the chorus of condemnation. Even the normally outspoken John Amaechi defended the locker room from such accusations.

But can we just dismiss Trump and his locker room defence? Are we denying something that is a daily reality for many women in the sporting world?

Constant battle
I would like to think that none of this behaviour takes place in the 21st century locker room. I have spent the last 40 years of my life as a sports nut and I have never heard anything as bad. But I can’t claim that racism, sexism and homophobia have been eradicated from the world of sport any more than they have been from society.

I love sport and what it can do to change lives. I believe in its positive impact on individuals and communities. But in our enthusiasm, perhaps we are turning a blind eye to the dark side of sport – doping, cheating, bullying, racism and sexism. Trump’s comments made me realise that I have witnessed some of this bragging and lewd behaviour in the past. And not just in the locker room – but in the boardroom too.

I spend much of my time supporting organisations like Sporting Equals, Women in Sport and the English Federation of Disability Sport in challenging the norms in sport, so I know how much work there is still to do on these fronts.

I’m proud of the many sports stars that called Trump out on his comments. But let’s not think that the battles are won. Things are improving, but if we overclaim our progress we are in danger of stalling it.

It is up to us all to stand up and call out this kind of behaviour when we see or hear it. We need to be responsible and not get swept along with the norms. Each individual has a responsibility to stamp out sexism and misogyny in sports.

Andy Reed is a former MP for Loughborough and the founder of Sports Think Tank.
sportsthinktank.com

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Slough, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Watford, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Spelthorne, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Blandford Forum, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bishop's Stortford, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Blaby, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Leicester, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Bordon, United Kingdom
recruiting with sports management

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Dunstable, United Kingdom

Leisure Contract Manager

Exeter City Council
Salary: £40,760-42,683
Location: Exeter, UK

Estates Management Co-ordinator

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: Croydon, UK

Maintenance Manager

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: up to £31,000 per annum (dependent upon experience)
Location: Whitechapel, London, UK

Contact Centre Advisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £6.77 - £8.21 per hour
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Ashfield, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Ealing, United Kingdom
recruiting with sports management

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Cotswold, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Ealing, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Poole, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Chichester, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Sutton, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Stroud, United Kingdom

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Stowmarket, United Kingdom
training with sports management

Regional Business Manager

GLL
Salary: From £42,921 per annum
Location: Belfast, UK

Leisure Project Manager

GLL
Salary: From £32,681 to £39,820 per annum
Location: Belfast, UK

GP Referral Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Rate of Pay
Location: Crawley, UK

Front of House Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary
Location: Midhurst, UK

Graduate Trainee Manager Scheme

GLL
Salary: £20,848 to £23,327 pa + benefits*
Location: Nationwide

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum
Location: Keynsham, Bristol, UK

Receptionist

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Hertford, UK
lifeguard jobs  swimming teacher jobs  recreation assistant jobs  apprenticeships jobs  personal trainer jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  duty manager jobs  assistant manager jobs  general manager jobs  assistant general manager jobs  Catering Assistant jobs  Customer Services Advisor jobs 
More jobs

Catalogue Gallery

BSW: BSW is a manufacturer of sports floorings, sports mats, gym flooring, elastomer products for impact sound insulation and vibration isolation, anti-slip mats for securing loads as well as protective and separating layers.
BSW
JP Lennard: Leading supplier to Commercial Swimming Pools, Leisure Centres, Health & Fitness Clubs, Hotels, Holiday Parks, Schools and Universities, supplying thousands of products directly into these sectors.
JPL
More catalogues

Video Gallery

Wattbike
The choice of the elite. Wattbike introduced the first true indoor bike in 2008, changing indoor cycling forever. Developed in association with world class coaches and athletes, and now chosen by the world’s premier health clubs, cycling studios, and personal trainers as well as universities, the military, and countless athletes and coaches across the world, Wattbike has truly revolutionised indoor cycling. Want to join our revolution? Power up your business with Wattbike.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Matrix strives to offer equipment that will captivate your members, is easy to maintain, and delivers the best return on investment. Intuitive operations on our complete range of cardio equipment combine technology and entertainment to provide an engaging and challenging workout.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

WEXO: The definitive cross training solution
A new cross training concept has arrived, offering weightlifting, athletic, metabolic, and functional exercises in a circuit format.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Diary dates

28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
More diary dates