In response to offensive comments made by Fox Sports reporter Tom Morris, Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit program that supports Australian sporting organisations and clubs in all aspects of LGBTQ inclusion, has issued the following statement.
The recent leak of comments from Tom Morris, a reporter with Fox Sports about his colleague, Megan Barnard is an example of how far we still have to go to remove sexism and homophobia in sport.
Morris’s comments have been widely condemned as an example of disgusting objectification of Ms Barnard, and Fox Sports has stood Morris down as a result of the remarks. The casual reference to disappointment about her sexuality magnifies the egregiousness of this example.
Like all women, women working in sports media deserve respect for their expertise, skills and insights, rather than valued for their perceived attractiveness. The male dominated cultures of sport and sports journalism is a huge barrier to inclusion and career paths of women.
Pride in Sport is working with a large number of sporting clubs at all levels, to highlight and support cultural change through education, information and awareness, which leads to safer places and environments for everyone – regardless of their gender, sexuality or other ‘difference’.
Alex Blackwell, one of the Co-Patrons of Pride in Sport, said:
“These sorts of examples are why so many LGBTQ+ people do not come out – whether they be athletes or working in the sport industry more broadly. For so many, being LGBTQ+ is a source of fear and is still considered a risk – for them, their careers and for those close to them. Add being a woman journalist in a male dominated arena, these barriers are even higher.”
“Having worked with Fox Sports I commend them for their swift action to stand down Mr Morris. It is an important statement of support for women working in sports media.”
“However more needs to be done across the industry to proactively educate and change cultures that perpetuate sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination. Culture change is required to prevent more people being subject to this kind of humiliating and offensive treatment; we need to work towards safety for all in sport.”
Media Contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: [email protected] T: (02) 9206 2044 M: 0428 477 042