Alex Scott looked set to become the new host of the BBC’s long-running Question of Sport, replacing Sue Barker, but it seems like she will no longer get that job as she’s now going to be the new host of Football Focus.
The Arsenal legend, who holds a degree in sports journalism and broadcasting, as well as a track record as an impeccable pundit who is always far more prepared than her male colleagues has, sadly, been met by a predictable outcry from a section of gammon who felt supremely threatened by a woman who knows more than they do, never mind a black one.
The Question of Sport ‘announcement’ came nearly a year to the day that Scott revealed the awful abuse she had to endure when featuring on Strictly, about which you can read more below.
Alex Scott is 100 times more qualified to host Question of Sport than Phil Neville was for the England women's manager's job.
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) September 17, 2020
Know what makes me laugh? Alex Scott has a DEGREE IN SPORTS JOURNALISM AND BROADCASTING. She is the MOST qualified to present ANY of these programmes. She could present them ALL and it would STILL be entirely fair and justified.
— Carrie Dunn (@carriesparkle) September 17, 2020
Alex Scott is a legend of a footballer who has represented her country many times, is a brilliant pundit, a fantastic dancer and has a degree in sports journalism and broadcasting.
ANY show would be amazing with Alex presenting it.#AlexScott #allontheboard pic.twitter.com/A58A6dFjX2
— All On The Board (@allontheboard) September 17, 2020
Alex Scott will be such a great 'Question Of Sport' host. I'm old enough to remember people getting angry that Sue Barker was appointed too. The tune never changes.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) September 17, 2020
Since then, however, it seems like the BBC has changed their mind and Scott will now take over from Dan Scott as the host of Football Focus, instead.
🚨 Presenter announcement 🚨
We’re delighted to confirm @AlexScott is the new host of Football Focus!
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 15, 2021
The announcement isn’t a total surprise as Gary Lineker let the cat out of the bag back in April, as he did with the Question of Sport speculation.
The Match of the Day host tweeted and deleted, ‘Congratulations and good luck @AlexScott with your new role presenting Football Focus. With 140 @englandlioness caps and about 350 trophies in the cabinet, I reckon you’ll do brilliantly.’
While there were many positive responses to the announcement, predictable racism and misogyny raised it’s ugly head with some claiming she only got the job because of ‘PC’ nonsense and that it would be the end of the ‘woke’ BBC.
Perhaps the BBC should just keep giving the jobs to cis white men, regardless of their qualifications, eh? That’s apparently not a problem at all. But give one to a qualified black woman and suddenly the world is falling apart.
If you think that, perhaps you should take a break from the internet to have a look at the state of the world outside your bubble and ask who got us into this mess in the first place?
In September 2019, Scott revealed she received death threats and racist abuse simply for appearing on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing.
“I had all of it – for being a woman on TV, for being a woman of colour on TV, that I’m ‘ticking a box’, death threats,” Scott told the Sunday Mirror. “But I’m still standing.”
Twitter messages saying she ‘deserves to die’ are, sadly, something women have to endure on social media simply for existing. If they happen to be living as a queer woman it’s even worse and if they are a woman of colour, well, then it’s just open season.
At the time the article was written for the Sunday Mirror, some of the tweets were still online. Had they contained copyrighted goals from the Premier League, however, no doubt they would have been removed within minutes and the accounts suspended, at the very least.
But racism and other forms of abuse aimed at minorities frequently go unpunished across all social platforms.
It’s a reflection of how seriously we take this matter as a society. As Paddy Power pointed out at the time:
Thankfully, a number of the major Sunday paper’s gave this issue prominence:
The Mail on Sunday, however, gave it just a small piece which was still better than the left-wing Observer that didn’t cover it all.
Let’s see how much coverage they give to the latest round of increased abuse Scott has had to endure.