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Everything is wrong with Leeds United’s Karen Carney’s Twitter message


Leeds embodied everything there is to love about them in Sam Allardyce’s 5-0 West Brom victory on Tuesday night, scoring so many outstanding team goals that the wonderful act of self-sabotage by Romaine Sawyers was almost eclipsed. Almost.

In an attempt to save Sawyers’ blush, the Leeds Twitter account took matters into its own hands by tweeting a cropped video of Amazon Prime expert Karen Carney doing her job, accompanied by a caption mocking her analysis.

The video sparked a Twitter pile, with an assortment of direct Carney-style ridicule. And since she is a woman who dares to have an opinion on football, much of the abuse suffered was sexist.

First, the commentary.

“They pass everyone,” Carney said. “My only concern would be: will they explode at the end of the season? We’ve actually seen that the last couple of seasons, I actually think they got promoted because of COVID, in terms of that gave them a bit of a break. I don’t know if they would have increased if they hadn’t had this break. “

Carney was not questioning Leeds’ pre-lockdown form – any Leeds fan on Twitter last night will proudly tell you that he won five out of five before the three-month break imposed by the coronavirus.

Leeds United v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet Championship
Leeds was promoted to champion in July | Michael Regan / Getty Images

However, having been excellent for the first eight and a half months of the 2018/19 campaign, the Whites have sadly taken a point in 12 in their last four league games to miss the automatic promotion, before imploding in the second. half of their playoff semi-final second leg against Derby to send them back to the Championship for another year.

These are the demands placed on Bielsa’s squad due to their intense, exciting and all-action style of play, they have a history of exhaustion towards the end of the season. In Marseille in 2014/15 and at the Athletic Club in 2011/12, his teams suffered a loss of form at the end of the season.

Therefore, Carney’s – perhaps poorly worded – argument is not absolutely outrageous. Leeds had a three-month rest, then won seven of their last nine league games to claim the league title.

It is not an attack on the club, or the players or the manager or their achievements. She simply suggests that Leeds have enjoyed rest and less physical and mental fatigue, given the completeness of their style of play.

Second, the decision to publish the video.

Social media is generally a friendly, caring and supportive place that always provides context and is the perfect platform for nuanced debate. How could we have anticipated such a malicious response?

Oh wait, Twitter is horrible.

The people who manage a club’s social media account have a responsibility. Leeds is a big club. They have over 665,000 Twitter followers. You can absolutely have a sense of humor, but the club’s official social media account just sparked days of personal abuse on a human for having an opinion. It was not a crass, mean or mean opinion. It was a simple opinion on football.

You just won a soccer game, don’t be mean, have a little class.

Leeds “condemned” the abusive comments directed at Carney. However, they did not delete the video.

Third, Gabby Agbonlahor.

People have been rushing to Leeds’ defense as the club have a habit of calling criticism on Twitter. You know, like a bitter 13-year-old calling haters on a Snapchat story.

Former Aston Villa striker Agbonlahor posted a series of tweets blatantly aimed at bringing Leeds fans together – and it struck a nerve, as Leeds responded with glee after October’s win over Villa . However, Carney’s comments were not meant to upset. She was doing her expert job.

The club’s Twitter account also hit back against Chris Wilder and Swansea City – but not with a video of Wilder or Swansea. On these occasions they celebrated Leeds’ success and had a subtle dig at the pair. All the attention of the post is on Carney, with Leeds winning after the fact. And this resulted in a barrage of unwarranted hatred directed against her.

Finally, sexism.

The message was not sexist. Pundits, men and women, will be commenting on Leeds throughout the season – some will be insightful, some will be absurd and some will be somewhere in between. It’s just a shame that the one time Leeds decided to call in an expert so publicly he turned out to be one of the few women to work in men’s football.

However, the message was naive.

When you choose an expert, it is obvious that she will experience abuse related to her gender.

If the message had been about Gary Neville, he wouldn’t have been told to go back to the kitchen, he wouldn’t be accused of receiving his work not on merit but simply of checking a box, and he would never have been told his opinion. is not valid because of its gender.

Karen Carney
Carney played for England in their run to the 2015 World Cup semi-finals | Rich Lam / Getty Images

Women can have opinions about men’s football. Dion Dublin and Ian Wright have opinions about women’s football and they’re brilliant.

Carney has spoken openly about battling depression during her playing career and she faced rape and death threats at Chelsea in 2018. You didn’t have to pick on her.

The video also unnecessarily adds fuel to the obnoxious rhetoric about women’s football pundits in the men’s game. Or any woman in a traditionally male environment.

Whenever Alex Scott comes across as an expert, she starts following the trends on Twitter. And it’s never people who say nice things about him or praise his role in Arsenal’s quadruple-winning team in 2006/07.

Alex Scott, Karen Carney
Alex Scott and Karen Carney are two of the few female experts working in men’s football | Ben Hoskins / Getty Images

When Jacqui Oatley had the Sunday supplement concert in January 2020, Twitter users insisted it was because she met a quota and not because of her quality as a broadcaster.

When Sue Perkins was bound with the vacant Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson and his teammates left in 2015, she was forced to quit social media because the trolling was so horrible. She didn’t even want the job – she was just happy to discuss cakes with her mate Mel.

Women in male dominated fields get this all the time and so of course Carney was going to be subjected to the same.

The official club accounts are there to give you team news and post official statements accompanied by a disturbing corner flag photograph. Everything else is a bonus. Publicly inviting mass abuse of a person to have an opinion is not part of the package.

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