If anyone’s entitled to pass judgment on a football penalty, it’s a sports pundit, right? Well, apparently not — at least not if that pundit is female.
Whatever your thoughts are on Lionel Messi’s penalty during a La Liga game on Sunday night (or, indeed, whether it’s really something you’ve been losing sleep over), what is worth talking about is the disgusting, misogynistic stream of abuse BT Sport presenter Lynsey Hipgrave was subjected to after sharing her views on Twitter.
Hipgrave, who also co-hosts a BBC Radio 5 Live show with Danny Baker, revealed that she thought Messi’s team-mate Luis Suarez should have taken the penalty. (FYI, Messi passed his spot-kick forward, allowing Suarez to run on and convert in a rare move which led to a mass social media debate.)
Hipgrave wrote of the penalty, “Think that Messi pen is so disrespectful more I see it. Just let Suarez take the pen if you want to be such a good team mate”.
“We need sandwiches not opinions you slag”, was one charming response — and it didn’t stop there. Hipgrave was told to “stay in the kitchen” and “shut up”, while another Twitter user wrote, “Haha honestly no one cares what you think cos you have a pair of t**s’”.
While another added: “And ladies and gentlemen, this is why we don’t hire any females unless we need our d***s sucked or our food cooked”.
The 36-year-old retweeted the worst of the abuse for her 27,000 Twitter followers to see before writing, “Just a very small taster of what we have to put up with. The crime was being a woman and expressing an opinion. Still a long way to go”.
Fortunately plenty of men expressed their disbelief at how some had reacted to Hipgrave’s tweet, such as Australian comedian Adam Hills, who wrote, “I’m appalled at the abuse @lynseyhipgrave1 copped for tweeting an opinion about football. Amazed that people think like that”.
Hipgrave started her media career in radio, where she presented the Breakfast Show for Manchester radio station Galaxy 102 before presenting for the likes of English-language sports channel Al Jazeera, Poker Night Live and Setanta Sport News. Since moving to BT Sport in 2013, she has covered Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup games.
Basically she’s got more football knowledge than all of those classless trolls put together.