Jason Cundy appeared on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ and explained his issue with female commentators
Should women commentate on the World Cup?
That was the question ITVâs âGood Morning Britainâ asked this Monday morning.
The answer seems obvious to me â yes.
Former Premier League footballer Jason Cundy sparked controversy on the popular breakfast show when he said womenâs voices were âtoo high pitchedâ for his taste.
The catalyst for the discussion was Vicki Sparksâ history-making shift last week.
The BBC reporter became the first woman to live commentate a menâs World Cup game on British television.
I thought her narration of Portugalâs 1-0 win over Morocco was great â commentators are made to work harder during dull games.
Some were less convinced of her performance, and thatâs fine.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes individual commentators, be they male or female.
Both BBC and ITV have several male commentators/pundits who I think detract from the viewing experience.
However, those on the other side of the debate prefer male commentators to female because of the pitch of their voice.
This argument seems flawed to me.
Do these same people not watch films with female protagonists?
Do they not listen to audiobooks or podcasts featuring women?
Do they change the channel if the newsreader is a woman?
Do they not speak to women in everyday life?
Surely if the problem is the pitch of their voice, these measures are common practice?
It seems the pitch of a womenâs voice is only an annoyance to these people when placed into a football environment.
That hints at a more complex friction than simply pitch preference.
Many on social media were quick to dismiss the concept of female commentators because Sparksâ voice jarred with them.
Is it not unfair to judge half the worldâs population on one womanâs voice?
Mark Lawrensonâs monotonous musings aggravate many, but nobody concludes that menâs voices are too expressionless for football.
Iâd like to think, perhaps naively, that those who oppose Sparksâ presence in the gantry are simply experiencing a common disturbance â unfamiliarity.
Generally speaking, people hate change.
Hopefully, once a womenâs voice is a familiar accompaniment to menâs football, the backlash will evaporate.
Weâve already been made to cringe as Patrice Evra patronised Eni Eluko with a round of applause after she had articulated a fitting summary.
The England Womenâs international has impressed viewers with her informed opinions on punditry duty.
The same canât be said for Evra, who openly admitted to not knowing much about either Benjamin Pavard or Lucas Hernandez.
Youâd think former France left-back Evra would have something interesting on the topic of France left-backs, but no.
The former Man United captainâs contribution has been limited to an anecdote about Cristiano Ronaldo playing Rio Ferdinanad at table tennis, and a bow tie.
Phil Neville felt the need to reiterate Alex Scottâs insight a second after she had finished speaking â as if the show couldnât continue unless her point was either debunked or validated.
BBC and ITV should be commended for employing women in roles usually monopolised by men.
Unfortunately, social media has played host to some unsavoury opinionsâŠ
Thankfully, thereâs plenty of support for the trailblazers as wellâŠ