Alex Scott: I will carry on despite sexist abuse

By Doug Faulkner
BBC News

  • Published
Alex Scott
Image caption,
The ex-Arsenal right-back, who made 140 appearances for England, has faced pushback since making the switch to TV presenting

TV pundit and former England defender Alex Scott says she intends to continue as a football presenter despite receiving misogynistic comments.

She told the Radio Times she has had tweets suggesting she stick to ironing and cooking, but feels a "responsibility to change perceptions".

Scott, 37, has also been criticised for her accent, with one senior politician suggesting she have elocution lessons.

Despite abuse the former Strictly star told the BBC she wanted to stay on air.

She will be part of the BBC's coverage of the Women's European Championships next month.

The ex-Arsenal right-back, who made 140 appearances for England, has faced pushback since making the switch to television presenting, including from former Labour minister and ex-House of Lords member Digby Jones last year, who criticised her pronunciation and asked if someone could give her elocution lessons.

Media caption,

‘We’re not going anywhere’ - how female footballers are tackling online trolls

The TV presenter, who is also a guest host of the One Show, said she had told the BBC's director of sport, Barbara Slater, that she "didn't want to be taken off air because then who wins?"

Scott said: "I've had so many tweets saying I should be at home ironing or cooking.

"I don't care about those, but sometimes people threaten my life and those have to be taken seriously.

"It's my responsibility to change perceptions by sitting in that chair and talking about football."

Image caption,
Alex Scott believes the women's game needs to be more diverse

Hosts England are among the favourites for the Women's European championship, which begins on 6 July.

Led by Dutch manager Sarina Wiegman, who won the Women's Euros with the Netherlands in 2017, England's first challenge will come on the opening night as they face Austria at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.

Female football has steadily become more popular over the years, with more women and girls playing the sport, according to the Football Association.

Scott said the game's growth has had its downsides and feels diversity within the teams needs to be addressed.

She said concrete pitches in council estate areas "aren't as important any more" as "academies have appeared that are maybe two hours away, and an inner-city street kid doesn't have the financial means to access them".

"One of the girls I'm mentoring said that when she looks at the England team she doesn't see herself represented... That needs to be addressed," she said.