close photo of a black horse

I can only imagine it was over a few Chrissy beers that Sydney’s Daily Telegraph sports department thought it would be a thigh slapper to name racehorse Black Caviar as its “Sportswoman of the Year”.

Black Caviar is a female horse. She’s a mare. Geddit?

It’s “time gentlemen” on this sort of demeaning rubbish.

I know you reckon it’s a gag, Buzz Rothfield. (Should I point out that your “SportsMAN of the Year” was Michael Clarke? No joke there, I assume.)

You told me, “pull your head in” on Twitter but you and Darren Hadland should be banished into the Hall of Mirrors where you can take a long hard look at yourselves and your archaic attitudes.

You can say “hello” to David Campese from me while you’re there.

I’ve taken up the cause of women in sport quite a few times and that’s because I am proud to count some of Australia’s top sportswomen as personal friends and I see, first-hand, the utter bullshit they have to cope with – year in and year out.

I know many blokes in sport reckon us chicks have had a sense of humour bypass…but for so many Aussie women sports champs the joke has worn very thin indeed.

sports women playing tennis

Witness the lack of media space given to their achievements compared to men; the starvation of sponsorship dollars; the paucity of commentary jobs available on radio and TV and the constant belittling of their abilities as sports writers and officials.

(And, as a Rugby League fan, don’t even get me started on the “ Women in League” round which lauds the women who serve hot pies in canteens and wash footy socks. Who “ask for nothing and give everything”, all but ignoring those who serve as board members, trainers, officials and managers of the team and fan sites.)

When you look at the roll call of sporting misdemeanours in any given year you won’t find women’s names in a long and odious list of dickheads who take a leak on street corners; punch each other in bars; get thrown out of hotel rooms and off planes; place illegal bets; sexually harass and lie and cheat.

Our sportswomen play hard, give it their all. They are almost always “best and fairest”. Maybe this is why they don’t get fair play in the media – not enough scrag fights, cat scratches and bad behaviour.

The champion women I know – Kerri Pottharst, Nici Andronicus, Shelly Taylor-Smith, Louise Sauvage, Ann Sargeant, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, Layne Beachley, Debbie Watson, Amy O’Mara, Laura Enever, Shelley Oates-Wilding, Jenny Owens, Naomi Flood – would be flat out having an overdue parking fine between them.

I suppose that means they’re boring.

But how, Buzz, could you not give the gong to, say, Anna Meares, Sally Pearson, the Women’s 4 x 100 relay team, Alicia Coutts, Brittany Broben, Emily Seebohm, Paralympic champion Jacqueline Freney (below)… is it worth going on? How about Stephanie Gilmore, now five-time world surf champ?

(I see you have mentioned the “hottest Olympian”, Leryn Franco.)

NO, give the title of  SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR to a fucking HORSE!!

In fact, your editor should give Black Caviar the job of writing the sports pages, surely she could do a better job than you two jackasses!

Perhaps women should take a cue from the blokes and start squiring male models, going the biff, having affairs with their teammates’ husbands and getting belted down The Cross at 3 a.m. if they want to garner media attention.

female athlete performing long jump

As a sports-mad nation, Australia’s female athletes are our crowning glory!

Their finest sporting moments are every bit as scintillating and memorable as any our sportsmen have provided.

Cathy Freeman. That is all.

We cheer our women on the sports field and then they go on to start foundations and charities; they coach, mentor, organise and inspire our kids. They are there, every time – front and centre – when we talk about how to tackle obesity, promote sportsmanship and include those with a disability.

I’m sorry that your joke backfired, Buzz. Comedy is hard. I know that first-hand too. Made a few clangers myself along the way.

But after your team has had a highly-enjoyable year of naming and shaming “gibberers”, this one’s going to bite you on the arse and you’ve only got yourself to blame.


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