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Footballer Patrice Evra slammed for ‘patronising’ Slaughter and May junior lawyer over her World Cup analysis

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He literally applauded Eniola Aluko’s football knowledge

Image credit: ITV

French footballer Patrice Evra has been accused of “patronising” Slaughter and May lawyer and England international Eniola Aluko during a live World Cup broadcast.

Evra, a 37-year-old West Ham United left-back, clapped Aluko’s analysis ahead of Serbia’s World Cup opener against Costa Rica. Aluko, who is a professional footballer as well as an associate consultant in Slaughters’ corporate team, appeared on ITV alongside fellow pundits Evra and ex-Celtic marksman Henrik Larsson yesterday.

Following Aluko’s in-depth analysis of Costa Rica’s attacking prowess, Evra sounded surprised and complimented her excellent evaluation. He then began awkwardly clapping Aluko, triggering a social media reaction:

Many Twitter users described Evra’s behaviour as “patronising”.

Following more footballing insight from Aluko, ITV presenter Jacqui Oatley asked Evra: “Are you going to sit here applauding Eni’s punditry all day?” The ex-Manchester United player responded:

“This is just amazing, I think we should leave Henrik, because she knows about more football than us! I’m really impressed you know.”

While continuing to berate Evra, viewers were also keen to point out Aluko’s formidable sporting and legal credentials:

Juventus striker Aluko studied law at Brunel University London before completing the accelerated Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the College of Law (now The University of Law) in Moorgate, her LinkedIn shows. Law Society records say the 31-year-old qualified as a solicitor in 2015.

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50 Comments

Anonymous

How is this relevant to a legal blog? She was discussing football because she is a footballer (albeit does a bit of legal work on the side). The bottom of the barrel has disappeared from years of scraping.

Anonymous

Anyone who fascist is a disagrees

Corbyn. Sympathiser

Typical incoherent fascist propaganda merchant.

Anonymous

Actually there’s a diversity point here.

Should we be more understanding of less progressive manners of dealing with other genders where the speaker comes from a society where such a manner is the cultural norm?

Bit like how we tolerate homophobia from those whose religious background does not originate from the UK whilst not tolerating homophobia on religious grounds from UK nationals?

Anonymous

“Bit like how we tolerate homophobia from those whose religious background does not originate from the UK whilst not tolerating homophobia on religious grounds from UK nationals?”

Who is “we” here? I certainly don’t make this distinction.

Anonymous

And if you’re suggesting that it’s ok for Evra to be sexist because he is black (or French?) then errr no, that’s not how it works.

Anonymous

The “we” is progressive society as a whole.

The Church of England and Roman Catholic Church often come under fire in the media for mildly homophobic policies (not doing gay weddings) but no one in the mainstream media ever critiques the mainstream Muslim position on homosexuality.

It’s as though the “Western” institution is under a duty to “know better” whereas the “non-Western” institution isn’t.

Anonymous

Sorry but originates from here? Religious people here all pray to the same brown dude from the Middle East.

Corbyn.Sympathiser

Booooger uuuuffff

Corbyn. Sympathiser

The fascists who like to imitate and mock me are back. Go away, fascist and await your fate when JC sweeps to power.

Anonymous

I’m quite liberal actually. I just think you’re silly 🙂

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

Tom trying to impress Katie by being offended about sexism.

TheAcresOfFour

Except no one actually gives a f**k about this non-story.

The Social Justice Police

Men:

Aluko is a black woman.

Any interaction you have with her will be deemed offensive by the online Twitter mob.

There is nothing you can do about this.

Just accept it, prostrate yourselves and repeat.

Judge hobosexual

What if I issue a court injunction requiring her to strap on me?

Corbyn. Sympathiser

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Bumblebee

This is one of those very rare occasions when I think the woke left/SJW twitterati have a valid point. Prima facie, it looks like Evra was astonished that Aluko knew her stuff, which is I guess somewhat sexist and patronising.

However, I think people have to question why Aluko is there in the first place. Every other pundit is there because, in addition to passing a screen test, they are a veteran of the (men’s) FIFA World Cup. Moreover, not only are they all veterans, but they are all by and large titans of the game – well known professionals who made a name for themselves on the pitch. People therefore assume that they know their stuff.

In contrast, even though Aluko has a nice presence on screen and clearly knows her stuff, it’s clear to see that her selection was, at least in part, political. Furthermore, (relatively) few people will have ever heard of her. It’s therefore perhaps understandable why Evra might assume her knowledge and analysis would be under par: she has no first hand experience of men’s football and was chosen because of the BBC’s desire to push an agenda.

If the BBC has a set formula of screening veterans of the men’s game, and then disrupts its own set formula in order to push a political agenda, what do people expect? It would be different of course if they didn’t have that set formula, but they do.

Bumblebee

ITV*

Anonymous

I’m not entirely sure how relevant the BBC’s “set formula” is, seeing as this happened on ITV…

Anonymous

“In contrast, even though Aluko has a nice presence on screen and clearly knows her stuff, it’s clear to see that her selection was, at least in part, political.”

Absolute rubbish. There are TONS of high-profile and well-regarded football commentators who haven’t had a playing career – Steve Bower, Peter Brackley, Jim Rosenthal all spring to mind… No-one is confused by the fact that they are not ex-players. It’s the norm to have a mix of career commentators and ex-players.

Aluko on the other hand IS a professional footballer with a successful club and international career who is also clearly an insightful commentator. There is no reason to think that she was picked for any other reason than that she is well-suited for the job, unless your immediate assumption is that choosing any black woman over a white man for a job is a ‘political decision’.

It’s one thing to suggest that anyone woman of colour whose qualifications for a job are not immediately obvious is a ‘political appointment’ (I happen to think that jumping to this assumption is spectacularly unhelpful, unless you are applying the same scrutiny to all appointees, no matter what their colour or gender). To go further than this and suggest that ANY woman of colour is a ‘political appointment’, regardless of their qualifications, is just farcical.

Anonymous

ITV’s world cup pundits:
Mark Pougatch – Sports journalist. Not an ex-footballer.
Jacqui Oatley – Sports journalist. Not an ex-footballer.
Gary Neville – YES ex-footballer.
Roy Keane – YES an ex-footballer.
Ian Wright – YES an ex-footballer.
Lee Dixon – YES an ex-footballer.
Eniola Akulu – (female) footballer.
Patrice Evra – YES an ex-footballer.
Henrik Larsson – YES an ex-footballer.
Martin O’Neill- Ex-manager. Not an ex-footballer.
Slaven Bilic – Ex-manager. Not an ex-footballer.
Mark Clattenburg – Referee. Not an ex-footballer.
Gabriel Clarke – Sports journalist. Not an ex-footballer.
Seema Jaswal – Sports journalist. Not an ex-footballer.

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2018-06-17/world-cup-2018-live-on-itv-meet-the-presenters-and-pundits/

So 14 pundits, of whom 6 are male ex-players. On your reasoning, Mark Clattenburg is the one who is most similar to Eniola Akula – i.e. someone who works in professional football at a very high level, but whom most people won’t have heard of. Is he a political appointee?

Anonymous

Martin O’Neill won the European cup with Nottingham Forrest, hardly “not an ex-footballer”. Slaven Billic played at centre back for West Ham and Everton amongst others. Get your facts right.

Bumblebee

What on earth are you on about? Rosenthal is a presenter (as are Pougatch and Oatley), Bower and Brackley are commentators, and Clarke and Jaswal are reporters. I was talking about pundits.

As for your facile ‘any black woman over a white man’ comment, I was talking about the set formula of hiring veterans of the competition under review – many of whom (including Evra) are black. It’s got nothing to do with generic ‘white men’.

And as for the Slaven Bilic comment… my god, I really do despair.

Anonymous

Go on then, explain how it’s totally fine and non-political for Clattenburg, a career referee, to be a football pundit, but totally weird and political for Aluko, a career club and international footballer, to be a football pundit. Because clearly the difference in your attitude to these two people whose fame levels are approximately equal has nothing at all to do with the fact that the ref is a white bloke whereas the player is a black woman. Perish the thought!

Anonymous

Because his job is to provide the perspective of the officials, particularly in view of VAR’s introduction to the World Cup?

Bumblebee

According to the link posted above, ITV has 11 pundits – 10 of whom have first hand experience of men’s international football (including Slavan Bilic who played in the Croatian team which famously came third in the 1998 World Cup).

Whilst not a capped international, Clattenburg is a very well known referee with international experience. Moreover, a large portion of punditry concerns controversial referee decisions, and so there is a specific, non-political demand for his unique insight and experience – especially given the introduction of VAR (as another commenter rightfully points out).

It is also pretty uncontroversial to remark that ‘diversity’ and undermining gender stereotypes are on-trend political movements. In contrast, there is no plausible political basis for appointing Clattenburg.

Furthermore, even if Clattenburg’s appointment was political, that wouldn’t defeat my argument. Rather, it would mean the ratio was 9:2 rather than 10:1 – hardly enough to dispute a pretty clear pattern.

Finally, addressing your bizarre obsession with ‘white bloke[s]’, this clearly isn’t about colour. Evra, Wright and Larssonn are all BAME.

Anonymous

But you’re (sorry) moving the goalposts.

Your original argument wasn’t that you need ‘first hand experience of men’s international football’ in order to be an insightful commentator.

Originally, you argued that although Aluko is insightful and well-qualified as a commentator, it was understandable that people do not automatically trust her word, because they do not recognise her name, unlike male ‘titans’ who have ‘made a name for themselves’ on the pitch. You were suggesting that the audience have grown used to the ‘formula’ of hearing commentary from people who are famous as footballers, and so when they hear commentary from someone who is not famous as a footballer, they do not know whether or not to trust it.

Leaving aside the fact that this argument is bollocks (you don’t have to have heard of someone before to work out whether they are well-qualified to comment), it is different from what you are now saying, which is that even though no one has heard of Mark Clattenburg, they will not be surprised at his presence onscreen because he is clearly well-qualified to comment.

This last point is clearly correct. I agree that most viewers will be interested in what Clattenburg has to say when they learn of his qualifications, even if they had never heard of him before (as is likely). But if it is true that audiences are perfectly able to work out if someone’s qualifications make them a suitable person to give commentary then that would apply just as much to Aluko (whose experience as a club and international player makes her well-qualified to comment, as you previously accepted) as to Clattenburg.

It’s good of you to admit that you assume that a white man has been hired because of his qualifications but that a black woman has been hired because of politics, though slightly bizarre that you cannot see how odious this assumption is.

Bumblebee

No one who follows men’s football would describe Mark Clattenburg as unknown. He’s very famous.

As for my original argument, first, I wasn’t talking about the wider ‘audience’. Rather, I was talking about Evra (who, incidentally, will CERTAINLY be far more familiar with Clattenburg than Aluko).

Secondly, my point wasn’t about experience in and of itself. As you rightly point out, I don’t think someone necessarily needs experience to be a good pundit (Giggs for example only ever played in qualifiers). Rather, it was that given the clear formula, lack of such experience indicates a political element to Aluko’s appointment. In turn, that might understandably lead Evra to assume she was under qualified (even if she wasn’t).

Libeturd Leftie

Take the L Bruh… they got you dead to rights…

Anonymous

Martin wom the European Cup twice with Forrest, in 1979 and 1980. He was capped by Northern Ireland 64 times and captained them in the World Cup. Not an ex-footballer???

Anonymous

How does she have time to be an international football player AND be an associate at S and M?

Anonymous

Because she’s bloody impressive. Also she is an associate consultant rather than straight associate, so presumably SM allow her a modified role to fit her other commitments.

Doctor Doom

I’m sure most door tenants can answer that question.

Trumpenkrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Corbyn. Sympathiser

You should know.

Anonymous

Let’s be honest, men’s football and women’s football have really different standards. After all, many of the best women’s national football teams have lost to U17 and U15 male teams. But don’t tell the SJWs that

SJW

I don’t think it’s going to be a surprise to anyone that men are stronger and faster than women, and therefore likely to beat them in sports, all other things being equal. Why do you think we segregate sports by gender?

Anonymous

Then why do female athletes insist on equal pay and coverage when their abilities and industries are far more inferior? Equal pay means equal ability but whether it’s football or tennis, men have the better ability. Watch a football match against any two of the best women’s club/national football teams and you’ll see why this gender pay gap nonsense is self-defeating

Anonymous

Haha. Good luck to any woman footballer ‘insisting’ on equal pay to the top-paid players and the same coverage to their games as the men’s sport. This is a complete fantasy.

Tennis is a different story. Women’s tennis is genuinely popular. Tennis players get most of their money from sponsorship not ‘pay’. If women want to negotiate better deals then why do you give a shit?

Seriously, little boy, why don’t you stop being such a whiney crybaby and do something more productive with your time than making up spurious stories about male victimhood to have a yourself a little pity-wank over. If you prefer watching men play sport – fine, you have that in common with 90% of the population and literally no one gives a shit.

Anonymous

“Making up spurious stories about male victimhood” it’s people like you that give feminism a bad reputation

Anonymous

Wah wah wah.

Anonymous

Hahahaha this term Social Justice Warrior definitely has you boys TRIGGERED… don’t look now but your slip is showing😏☺️

Anonymous

More irrelevant news for the British mass to cream over LOL – how about the impending tax rises that will no doubt cancel out recent US firm pay hikes?

Double Standard

So if something so simple can be blown out of proportion then what is the PC term for an entitled lazy woman that rambles on and nags about the imaginary patriarchy conspiracy or the so called gender pay gap. As if men have not heard that BS again and again.

Anonymous

I remember the shock when Stephen Hendry and Gary Neville both became pundits. They added new depth to the orthodox analysis.

Eniola has studied form and team sheets in recent times to prep for a question that she knew or guessed would come up. It was novel for a pundit to do this, and it sounded good.

You have to be sure that upon seeing Gary Neville with his special football screen and tactical analysis for the first time that Evra would not have clapped and said “Well done.”

It would also be prudent to check whether he has a track record of being patronising or not, to put this incident in context.

I’m not so quick to condemn. John Terry s daughter is an accomplished footballer who is professionally coached. He is about the same age as evra. I bet they are used to female footballers by now and so I need more to convince me that it wasn’t the analysis he was clapping, rather than a black female speaking on tv.

Corbyn. Sympathiser

I eat my own poo and I love it

Wet bob

Did anyone else listen to the radio 5 boat race commentary this year?

It was constructed entirely of footballing analogies and the bow of the boat was described as “the pointy bit”

f*cking quality

Anonymous

Penis.

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