28 Feb 2024

Celtic boss Rodgers 'good girl' comment wasn't meant to offend

8:51 am on 28 February 2024
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The BBC journalist who Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers called a "good girl", sparking sexism complaints, said she does not believe he meant to offend.

Rodgers made the comment to reporter Jane Lewis during a post-match interview on Sunday.

It was followed by calls from women's groups for him to apologise.

The Northern Irishman said "some people were looking to be offended" and he has since "had a laugh" with Lewis about it.

Lewis said she accepted the interview had "become a talking point".

But she added: "I don't believe there was any offence meant by Brendan Rodgers - and for my part, there was none taken."

The BBC Scotland Sportsound interview followed Celtic's 3-1 win against Motherwell at Fir Park.

Rodgers was asked by Lewis about its impact on the Premiership title race.

The Celtic manager said: "The story has already been written about this group. But we will write our own story."

When asked by Lewis for "a bit more insight" into what he meant, Rodgers replied: "No, no, you know exactly what I mean".

He concluded by saying "done, good girl, well done" before walking away.

Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers.

Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Photosport

'Very depressing'

Rodgers told members of the media he found it "saddening" to be accused of sexism.

"Sadly, for me, in society now ... they'll find something that is offensive to try and pin onto people," he said.

He said he based his relationship with journalists on warmth, respect and courtesy and that would never change.

The Celtic manager added: "Obviously when there was that little bit that was out there, a big bit, however it was, then of course I feel the need to address it.

"I have spoken to Jane and she wasn't offended, we had a laugh about it.

"She will continue to ask me awkward questions I'm sure, and I see her every week and we've good relations like I have with most people in my life, whether that's professional or social.

"I found it saddening as much as anything because I'm not that type of person. I could never be that, It's not how I am built.

The Scottish Feminist Network and For Women Scotland had urged Rodgers to explain the "good girl" comment, which has been labelled as "casual sexism".

A spokeswoman for the group said: "Rodgers' throwaway comment encourages other football fans to behave in a similar way, demeaning women they work with or engage with.

"It has to stop.

"Jane Lewis was just doing her job, trying to extract an explanation from Brendan Rodgers on his cryptic comment.

"That the go-to attitude of a manager of a winning team was condescension is quite illuminating but really very depressing in 2024. We thought dinosaurs were extinct."

A spokeswoman at For Women Scotland said: "It's depressing that casual sexism is still embedded in sport.

"Women's achievements are underrated and dismissed, and their professional status undermined. Rodgers owes the reporter an apology."

- This was first published by theBBC.