Women’s soccer has finally made it in England! Yes: after decades of indifference, media coverage has soared as the nation feverishly anticipates a strong showing at this summer’s World Cu….
Wait, that’s not true, is it? Manchester City and England striker Toni Duggan’s not getting coverage in mainstream outlets because she scored in a 3-1 FA Women’s Cup quarter-final win over Birmingham City Ladies last Sunday.
She’s getting coverage because she had a photograph taken with a famous man.
Specifically, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, who posed for a photo with her and teammates when they bumped into each other in a restaurant a couple of hours after United beat City’s men, 4-2.
When Duggan posted the image on Instagram, on a weekend when partisan tensions were already running high in Manchester, it hardly needs adding that she was subjected to abuse on social media and thus deleted the post.
As one of City’s best players, you’d think she’s done her part for promoting the success of the club. But according to the Mirror, comments included:
“Don’t know if you should be allowed to wear a City shirt after that little picture.”
“Disgraceful antics. You should be utterly ashamed of yourself.”
“I was buying two season tickets next season for the ladies’ team. After your antics yesterday, I won’t be bothering.”
Perhaps the saddest thing about this episode is that Duggan felt obliged to issue an apology when she’d done nothing wrong. In fact, saying sorry might just legitimize the cretinous complaints.
I would like to apologize to all MCFC fans for the error of judgment I made last night. I now appreciate the significance of my actions and can assure everyone connected with Manchester City that I am proud to represent the club and wear the shirt.
A better response would have been something along the lines of: “get a life, tools,” but sadly that’s not the world we live in. The world we live in somehow imagines a crossover between Manchester City Women and Louis van Gaal’s United, and in this world, Duggan was spilling Manuel Pellegrini’s tactics and transfer targets.
Still, maybe this does show an increase in attention for the women’s game after all. Fans are getting irrationally worked up about the behavior of a female player. They’re not treating her with indifference or considering her as irrelevant. Progress. Thanks, stupid people!