The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Would Modric have been asked if he could Floss?
Former Scotland star Suzanne Winters says any sexism in women’s football is but a tiny fraction of what it used to be.
The presentation of the inaugural women’s Ballon d’or last Monday became mired in controversy when French DJ Martin Solveig asked winner Ada Hederberg, the Lyon striker, if she could twerk.
While the 23-year-old Norwegian politely answered in the negative, the question drew fierce criticism on social media where Scottish sporting icon Andy Murray was one of many to speak out.
For Grant, winner of 105 caps for the national team over a 13-year career which took in spells with Motherwell, Celtic, Arsenal, Hibs and Glasgow City, it was a depressing setback. “I woke up to the news and thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me on!’” said the 34-year-old, who retired from the professional game last year.
“We have come so, so far in the past decade with the expansion and all the positive coverage, and then you get a comment like that. It is really frustrating.
“I don’t believe there was any malice to it, for me it was just a stupid, thoughtless thing for the guy to ask Ada. I am all for a joke but this was neither the time nor the place and the choice of dance was odd. “The best way to look at it is, would he have asked male winner, Luka Modric if he could floss? “We know the answer to that one. There’s no way Luka, one of the biggest stars of the men’s game, would have had to field that sort of question.”
It was a scenario that Grant says was all too familiar to her in her first few years playing. But, which thankfully, became less frequent as she neared the end of her career.
“People would ask me what I do for a living, and when I told them I would say 99% would reply: ‘You don’t look like a women’s footballer’,” she recalled.
“I was training to be a beautician, so I would always have my hair and nails done, and my make-up on.
“Their thinking was I couldn’t look like a girly girl and be a professional footballer – as if it was against the rules. “My point was always, why not? What am I supposed to look like then?
“It got so bad, I used to think I would stop telling the truth and start saying I’m studying, as I was actually doing the beauty course part-time.
“But then I’d think why should I? You want to be a role model and that means getting the fact women can play football and do their nails out there.”
It is a message Winters, married to Lowland League player David, says has got across.
“I am happy to say I wouldn’t expect any of members of Scotland World Cup squad to be told they don’t look like women footballers,” she said.
“Instead, all the chat they will get will be about their achievement in getting to France – that’s how far we have come!”