David Beckham expressed his best wishes to the Lionesses as they prepare to face Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals – but not everyone agreed with his choice of words.
The 48-year-old may have retired from football, but he remains active in the sport as president and co-owner of Inter Miami as well as Salford City.
The Women’s World Cup is the football competition on everyone’s lips right now, and the Euros-winning Lionesses are pushing full speed forward.
But we don’t want to say too soon since they meet Australia in the semifinals today.
Women’s football has sprung into the public awareness in the lead-up to, and as a result of, their historic triumph against Germany at last year’s Euros.
With record-breaking crowds, TV watching numbers, and transfer costs, the Lionesses’ victory generated a major increase in interest in women’s football (about time!).
As far back as 2002, David was the subject of the cultural masterpiece Bend It Like Beckham, which is about a lady who wants to play football in a sea of males.
And so David waded in on the action last night, as he sent a video to the official England football Instagram account, which they posted for the world to see alongside the caption: ‘A very special message for our @lionesses ahead of their #FIFAWWC semi-final! ❤️ Thanks for your support, @davidbeckham (and Harper!) 👏.’
‘Hey girls,’ the ex-footballer began.
‘I just wanted to say, wow. What a tournament it’s been so far. It’s been so much fun to watch and we’re all so proud as a nation of what you’ve achieved already.
‘Seeing you girls play as a team, it’s been really incredible. So continue to do so, good luck in this next game, and just know that our whole nation is behind you, as always. And good luck.’
Harper Beckham, 11, joined in from the opposite side of the room with an enthusiastic, ‘Good luck Lionesses!’ and a wave.
However, David’s statement prompted debate in the video’s comments section, as some objected to his usage of the word “girls” to describe a group of mature women.
One said: ‘Not sure that the right way to start the video 💀’
Another wrote: ‘They’re women David. Women!’
But others pointed out that in football-speak, men in teams are never referred to as such, but always as ‘boys’ or ‘lads’ – and claimed this was equivalent to ‘girls’.
One fan responded with a lengthy message, which read: ‘When we refer to a team in men’s football or address the players, we also say “the boys did well” or “the lads got the job done”, etc.
‘Never have I ever heard anyone with any bit of footballing IQ or knowledge say “the men made us proud” or “the men played well” when talking about the players.
‘Referring to the English women players as girls is not short of indulging in English footballing culture and its linguistic influence. Please, leave football from the appropriation and view it from the historical and cultural lens it deserves to be observed from.’
Source My Celebrity Life.