Time for an end to this discrimination against women

Even in these so-called times of equality it seems that women are still discriminated against in a world which continues to be dominated by men, afraid of allowing the fair sex the opportunity of a decent crack of the whip for whatever reasons, mainly I suspect based on basic insecurity.

Examples abound, not least in my own world of sport where I deal with both sexes on a daily basis, though mainly men I will admit, much as I would like to see more women grabbing the sporting headlines, but denied quite often by the male chauvinists who edit most, if not all, of our sporting journals.

Last week the world of soccer was acutely embarrassed by the silly sexist comments of Richard Scudamore who was found - not surprisingly - to have no case to answer for his indiscretions by the bosses of the Premier League.

Normally I would not have got too excited, just treating it as another day in sport, until I read the content of his e-mails.

Unacceptable in any walk of life. Women deserve more respect, being the butt of laddish humour has to be a thing of the past, but no it’s still there in ample measures, and practised by some unlikely sporting heroes.

When no less a figure than Sir Alex Ferguson wrote to a 20-year-old trainee physiotherapist, declining her request for a work placement in 1994 at Old Trafford on the basis that “football was a male sport”, he got away with it.

I would like to think times have changed in the intervening years, but doubt it, as the same attitudes rule in a sport that in my opinion really has to clean up its act, and quickly. The sacking of Andy Gray and Richard Keys from Sky TV for their excesses directed at a female assistant referee was I fear the exception rather than the rule.

Is it, therefore, any surprise that only one in eight women play sport regularly.

Interestingly in all the experiences I have had interviewing women athletes, including two senior members of the England women’s rugby team, I have found them not only polite and helpful, but more often more professional than their male counterparts.

It will take all sports a long time to change, but change they must if we are to exist on a level playing field.

Finally, I am pleased to report that contrary to public expectation the merged bus service, introduced on May 5 in and around Ellon has been successful. Okay there have been some issues of buses running late, but mainly due to hold-ups at peak times in Aberdeen. As a regular user who goes on to Aberdeen, I am happy to commend the good attitudes of drivers who are in my opinion busting a gut to keep to the timetable.

I have no complaints and take my hat off to Stagecoach for attempting to do the impossible. Keeping consumers happy was always going to be difficult.

So let’s have an end to the debate and give credit where it is due, which in this case is management in partnership with drivers, and of course the vigilant Ellon public, not always known for its tolerance.