The sports minister Stuart Andrew has condemned “dangerous” comments made by Joey Barton about female football commentators and pundits and says he will take the issue up with social media platforms.
Barton has posted a number of abusive comments online in recent weeks, and the former Manchester City midfielder described ITV pundits Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward as “the Fred and Rose West of football commentary” on X, formerly Twitter, following the channel’s coverage of Crystal Palace’s FA Cup draw with Everton last Thursday.
ITV responded by describing Barton’s comments as “vindictive”.
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— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 5, 2024
Andrew was asked by Labour MP and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee member Julie Elliott whether he would condemn the comments, and he said: “Yes I would.
“These are comments that open the floodgates for abuse and that’s not acceptable.
“I’m always wary in these situations that these sort of people want the oxygen and I don’t want to fuel that.
“I want to put on record my thanks for the amazing contribution that women and girls make to football and sport more generally.”
Elliott asked whether he would intervene and take this issue up with social media platforms such as X and Meta, and Andrew replied: “I can happily do so.”
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