A women’s soccer team in the Czech Republic is being forced to train with two sexists from the men’s team after the men made comments about a female referee belonging in the kitchen.
During a match last Sunday between Sparta Prague and Zbrojokva Brno, assistant referee Lucie Ratajova missed an offside call against Brno, and the match ended in a draw.
Per ESPN FC, Sparta goalkeeper Tomas Koubek told media after the match that his “opinion is that women belong at the stove and should not officiate men’s football.”
Koubek’s teammate, Lukáš Vácha, tweeted a photo of Ratajova with a caption that translates to “the cooker,” which I believe refers to the stove.
As a result, Sparta Prague CEO Adam Kotalik said in a statement that Koubek and Vácha will attend multiple practice sessions with the club’s female team to “to see for themselves that women can be handy not only at the stove,” per a rough Google translation.
German club Fortuna Düsseldorf enacted a similar punishment for a player last year who made a similarly sexist comment against a female referee.
While Kotalik’s intentions seem pure, this makes Koubek and Vácha’s sexism the problem of the women who play for Sparta Prague. On top of focusing on their own training, they now have to perform in a way that leads two troglodytes to walk away with the impression that they’re no longer inferior just because of their gender.
If Koubek and Vácha are really still rolling through life making jokes about women belonging in the kitchen, subjecting their female counterparts to their stupidity is something of a punishment for the women. It is not on women to be good enough for men to stop being sexist pigs. It is on the men to reconsider why they view women as inferior. Women can bust ass to prove they are just as worthy of the respect of men, but all that effort is unlikely to change the minds of men whose beliefs are rooted in social conditioning and a lack of interest in expanding their perspectives.
The likely outcome here is that Koubek and Vácha—and the rest of Sparta Prague—will learn to keep their mouths shut with the explicitly sexist comments. That’s a pretty favorable outcome, if it is the case, but it does very little to actually change the attitude about women in positions of authority. I see how Kotalik’s approach aims to do just that, but ingrained sexism isn’t changed overnight, and especially when the sexist in question is in a defensive crouch.