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Lianne Sanderson exclusive: Treatment of Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward is a disgrace

Owen Fulda

In an exclusive interview with InstantCasinos.com former Lionesses star Lianne Sanderson jumped to the defence of Eni Aluko after the barrage of online hate the female pundits have received recently. 

Interview Highlights:

  • Treatment of Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward is a disgrace
  • Rishi Sunak’s motives are unknown regarding online abuse
  • My Mum deleted ‘X’ after receiving homophobic hate about her daughter
  • Nike made a mistake with changing St. George’s Cross colour

Treatment of Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward is a disgrace

Social media has been divided over the value that female pundits bring to football coverage but Joey Barton took his criticism too far when he compared Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward to infamous serial killers Fred and Rose West;

Lianne Sanderson: “Ultimately I don’t want to bring attention to ‘you know who’, but because it’s something that’s relevant to me, what I will say is the treatment of Lucy Ward and Eni Aluko, who are both friends of mine, is an absolute disgrace. I think what these guys have to realise, not just him, but everybody in the industry can absolutely have an opinion and if you don’t like me as a pundit, that’s fine. But having those types of opinions allows other people to jump on the bandwagon and it’s disgusting.

“You can’t underestimate the effect on the mental health of people like Eni and Lucy. I think it’s a disgrace and it’s not nice to say the least and unfortunately these sorts of opinions and people are not going to go away and they exist. And what’s worse? That they exist openly or is it better that they keep their mouth shut? I’m not sure. It’s just the online stuff and people hiding behind the keyboard. It’s easy given your opinion in the pub, but you get in front of the TV and the lights go on and it’s live and for some people it’s game over.”

Rishi Sunak is just paying lip service when it comes to abuse of female pundits

Asked whether she believes Rishi Sunak actually cares about stamping down on online abuse, Lianne Sanderson is sceptical about the Prime Minister’s motives but praised her employers for the support she receives;

Lianne Sanderson: “Me personally, I feel like I think it’s just words and lip service if I’m being honest.

“People can kind of say ‘we’re supporting you’ but I’ve never heard from Rishi Sunak and I’m sure a lot of my fellow female pundits never have either. But at the same time I’m just really blessed that I get the support that I do from the companies that I work with. So at TalkSPORT or at SKY, whenever I get that online abuse, which is horrible, I get that support. But what I will say is that it is nice when you do get people in the public eye speaking out who genuinely care about us because that helps.

My Mum Deleted ‘X’ After Receiving Homophobic Hate About Her Daughter

Sanderson reveals how online abuse has impacted her own family, including her fiance & mother;

Lianne Sanderson: “I tick all the wrong boxes for some people and that’s too much for them to take.

“I do think those people genuinely want to make change. I just don’t think they know how to. But all I can say is the support that I do receive from the companies is good. Don’t forget my family get messages and people have even messaged my fiance not-so-nice things about me. So there’s levels to this that people won’t really understand and my mum doesn’t even have Twitter anymore. She never even used to tweet which she used to want to see what I was doing but people were just saying these horrific things about her daughter.”

Nike blundered with alteration St. George’s Cross

Controversy erupted after US sportswear giant Nike revealed it had altered the traditional England flag on the Three Lions’ latest kit, introducing purple and blue stripes, sparking criticism by the prime minister and Labour leader Keir Starmer;

Lianne Sanderson: “It’s one of those things where I get the outrage completely.

“I don’t know why they wouldn’t just put the St. George’s flag on the back of the shirt. I have no idea why they even thought that was a good idea. And that comes down to the manufacturer kind of dropping the ball on that one and also someone has to be held accountable for thinking that was a good idea. But then on the other hand, I think it’s a little bit out of hand and out of control. 

“Footballers always seem to be held to a different standard. Football is like our religion in England but when Rishi Sunak gets involved it’s too much for me. Ultimately, there should be a St. George’s flag on the back of the jersey. The St George’s flag is a patriotic symbol and playing for your country is such an honour, so don’t change that. I saw Harvey Elliott put his collar up and everyone was commenting on that and it went viral because they’re saying that even Harvey Elliot doesn’t like the back of the shirt.”

Owen Fulda

Owen is an experienced and established sports journalist who has worked in the industry for well over a decade. Having graduated from News Associates, he has subsequently featured in publications from the UK to Australia, including the Daily Star and the Express. Prior to this he sharpened his knowledge of online bookmaking at EasyOdds and wrote various features at KCW Today. He specialises in football, cricket and NFL but has knowledge of virtually all sports.