England Twitter account tweets women's team can go back to being 'mothers, partners and daughters'
The England women's team have just completed the most successful of the country's World Cup campaigns since 1966. And now, at last, they can go back to being "mothers, partners and daughters", according to the official England team Twitter.
Tweeting as the team returned to London after a campaign that saw them reach the semi-finals, the account seemed happy to suggest both that members of the team had stopped being daughters during their time in the campaign — and that they'd somehow stopped being footballers after the competition was over.
Reaction to the tweet was immediate and intense, with the replies flooded with people saying the tweet was "an own goal", along with much less printable responses.
The account is verified, has almost 1.2 million followers and seems to be run by the FA. It has spent much of the campaign celebrating a team that has managed to make huge gains for women's football — before single-handledly undoing much of them with one tweet.
Contacted for comment, the FA said that the person responsible was away from their desk.
The tweet was deleted about 45 minutes after it was posted. The account continued to post extra updates without explaining the tweet or its deletion.
The post linked to the FA's article about the players' return, which originally began with the same text as the tweet. Soon after the tweet was deleted, that article was amended to begin "England Women returned home as heroes on Monday morning - with their bronze medals proudly hanging round their necks".
The author of that article tweeted soon after the outrage and said that he "reject[ed] any accusation of sexism".
The England Twitter account isn't the only official site to be flagrantly sexist to its own players. Earlier this week, for instance, it was noticed that Fifa's own website described USA forward Alex Morgan as "A talented goalscorer with a style that is very easy on the eye and good looks to match, she is nothing short of a media phenomenon".
@england ??????? Do male players return to be fathers and husbands? Own goal here!— Shaun@Dr.T (@DoctorT1992) July 6, 2015
.@england They're still footballers too. Why don't you go back to being a sperm?— fleetstreetfox (@fleetstreetfox) July 6, 2015
@england well they are hardly returning to the pay and benefits that male players seem to enjoy.— Caryn Cox (@caryncoxphealth) July 6, 2015
I don’t need femimsms YES IT IS TRUE FEMALE ATHLETES TRANSFORM BACK INTO WIVES AND WOMBS IMMEDIATELY AFTER SPORTS END pic.twitter.com/ui8uMrrpia— WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) July 6, 2015
@england its heroines. Poor mistake— ricardo savva (@ricardosavva) July 6, 2015
@england at the risk of sounding disrespectful, no other country would could a third placed team heroes.— Andrew Flynn (@andrewflynn_) July 6, 2015
Sorry if I caused offence. The piece is intended to sum up a nice moment when players are reunited with their families.— james callow (@jamesrcallow) July 6, 2015
Independent News Service