Sergio Aguero Putting His Hand On A Female Referee’s Shoulder Wasn’t Sexist. Here’s Why
Last night, as I hopped on for my ritualistic call with my boyfriend, we talked about several different topics from how our day went, to how many times we opened the fridge, before getting down to one topic that really stuck and had us bubbling with opinions – it was about the recent Man City match with Arsenal. For football fanatics, I’ll let you know that Man City won the match 1-0 , with Raheem Sterling scoring an impressive rebound goal in the first half. And for all the others out there, for whom the highlight wasn’t Sterling’s goal, but Sergio Aguero’s hand on the female referee’s shoulder, we have news for you folks – Guess what? It wasn’t sexist.
For the uninformed, the controversy began when during the middle of the match, Aguero got into an argument with Massey on the sidelines over a throw-in call which went against him early in the second of the Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium. As he disputed the throw-in call, moments later the camera caught him placing his hand over the referee’s shoulder as she began to walk away. And from that moment on, the match wasn’t about football anymore, it was about raging pseudo-feminazis calling wolf.
Before the match even ended, social media started swarming away with video clips and images of Aguero with his hand on the shoulders of female assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis, sparking an unnecessary rampage of angry feminazis, talking about how his move was not just sexist, it was demeaning to women. A fact we would have gladly taken up, had it been true.
Now, before you brand me an anti-feminist, I would like to clarify that the reason I am writing this story is not to click bait football fans aka my boyfriend into finally reading my article, but to simply spell out how this cry for sexism, was actually nothing but just an everyday incident blown out of proportion. Yes, ,maybe the pat was unnecessary, maybe it was too aggressive for the audience watching from beyond the screen, but sexist? We don’t think so.
We have not heard the last of this. Sergio Aguero out of order here pic.twitter.com/XXreySE4zB
— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) October 17, 2020
This is so weird and wrong, Aguero, what are you doing?
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) October 17, 2020
Erm, what is Aguero doing here? And why wasn’t he sent off for it? https://t.co/FmqWtdRK0F
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 17, 2020
Here is why it is not sexist
Several players, during the course of their matches, several times get into discussions, arguments and conversations with the on-field referees, a few times out of which, they might gesture their hands. Now, only because they were male, there was no cause of concern raised. But, now that it was a female referee in question, that too at a time like this when the people are highly sensitised to the idea of feminism, suddenly it is branded offensive.
The thing is, what most people fail to recognise while they incessantly call out Aguero for his misogyny and tweet “how could he get away with this” on Twitter, is that the referee always has the power to give any player a yellow or a red card, if they feel their behaviour or conduct was unacceptable. And considering a lot of players have been given the card for having shown an shown unsportsmanlike behaviour, the fact that Massey chose not to give Aguero one, should’ve been pretty telling of the matter itself.
I’ve seen a lot of controversial opinions regarding this aguero and the female ref thingy
To me nothing is wrong with what he did tbf pic.twitter.com/fCJHlyHSS3
— Rola 🙋🏽♀️ (@kofoworola__a) October 18, 2020
Not defending Aguero putting his hands on an official at all. But the claim that you wouldn’t see a player do it to a male referee is plain wrong too. pic.twitter.com/kPfg3Cd4kT
— Will O'Callaghan (@willocallaghan) October 17, 2020
You see, people are sitting so close to the edge of their seats, waiting to take a stand for the feminist movement to prove their wokeness, that more often than not they forget to view events without a bias. And in this case, we think Sergio treated her as an equal in that he threatened her as he probably would a male referee and in that, he perhaps was being feminist. We’ve to realise that Massey-Ellis, had she felt offended or insulted could have gone to give the player a warning at the least, but didn’t do it, probably because it was a casual gesture. And if we did think it was sexist, we would have called him out.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also commented on the matter, defending the player as he remarked, “Come on, guys. Sergio is the nicest person I have ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations, not in this one.” Saying that as a player, him laying his hands on a referee, regardless of the gender, is understandable. But claiming that he felt entitled to do so only because the referee was a female, is plain manipulation.
And that is exactly what makes me realise that women making reading too much into this could translate into faultless and random blaming of the men. Yes, we must be proactive, yes we must be vocal and vigilant in speaking up about issues for women who can or cannot find the courage to do it alone, but that doesn’t mean we will stop viewing facts.
That is not feminism, that is misandry. And that, my dear feminists, we do not stand for.