By Liam McInerney
Following his disrespectful and sexist statements towards women and boxer Katie Taylor, Billy Joe Saunders was always going to have to apologise. Like every situation where a sportsman messes up, the public receives a “sorry” soon after. So I don’t think the line “it takes a big man to apologise” applies here.
In his interview with iFL TV on Wednesday it appeared Saunders was being sincere when he said, in his opinion, women are there for cleaning, cooking and sex. It’s no surprise that now he is claiming it was a joke.
If this occurred in a football environment, Saunders would have endured an even fiercer backlash from media, the games authorities and supporters, so he has got off lightly here. Imagine if John Terry told a reporter the same thing about the alleged role of women? A storm would have rightly erupted.
Nobody is perfect and at least he has apologised (although there was no other options for Saunders). As a fighter you have to respect the guy but his comments on Wednesday were hard to accept. Even his apology didn’t feel as if he was embarrassed about being portrayed as a sexist. But I don’t know him personally and maybe he’s a nice guy. In future when there is a camera rolling, he has to be smarter. It was nonchalant at best for him to say those words especially knowing the video would be shared repeatedly on social media.
From now on he should be very careful when speaking on record because it wouldn’t take much for people to completely turn on him as a person. But we will have to give Saunders the benefit of the doubt, move on and look forward to his world title clash with Andy Lee at Thomond Park on September 19th.
Below is Billy Joe Saunders’ apology. Have your say, do you think it was genuine or not?
“It was only a joke, listen, Katie Taylor is a very very good fighter, she’s done what she’s done. I’m not saying women shouldn’t box. It’s their choice, I reckon their very good to the sport, we got to get men off the street and young boys off the street, same as you’ve got to get young girls off the street. I don’t want to be a man painted out as being thinking woman’s there for cooking, sex and bedroom department even though their still good at it. I’m sorry if I’ve upset anybody and apologise but that’s all I can do. If anyone’s offended by that I’m sorry.”