Dear SportsBet – This is who Ellyse Perry Is

During the coverage of the Cricket World Cup Final, dual sporting international Ellyse Perry was part of a FoxSports panel of experts. She was there to provide an opinion as a professional cricketer. Instead, SportsBet decided to tweet a photo of Perry. In the background of the photo was a fan holding a sign with the number six on it – a common poster made for the cricket. SportsBet captioned the photo as follows – “Bit rough from the bloke giving Ellyse a 6! Surely she is a 10. #CWC15 #AUSvNZ.”

Ellyse was not there for her appearance to be commented on. The “bloke” in the background was just a fan for the cricket, and SportsBet has taken the photo out of context and objectified a professional who more people should know.

So for the benefit of SportsBet, this is who Ellyse Perry is:

At the age of 16, Perry made her debut for Australia in TWO sports – cricket and soccer. She is the youngest Australian (male or female) to represent Australia in cricket, and the first ever to represent our country at the highest level in both sports at their respective World Cups.

In cricket, Perry is an all rounder who has scored almost 1500 runs in approximately 200 international matches. She has also taken 252 international wickets. Compare this to Shane Watson who from 2012-2014 inclusive never took more than 1 wicket a Test Match, yet was still nationally revered. She is a rising talent, who last year was unfortunately made to choose between cricket and soccer by soccer’s governing body.

Perry was on the panel for the World Cup Final as a professional, and SportsBet completely ignored this, objectifying her. I doubt we will see a similar photo of Dave Warner shared on Twitter soon. Let’s celebrate athletes for being athletes.
The ABC recently reported[1] that women’s sport only features in 7% of sports programming in Australia, which is a decline since the last decade. This is even less than horse racing. It is a crying shame such a statistic exists, when there are great female athletes such as Ellyse pursuing awesome careers. And then you have the situation where SportsBet, instead of supporting female achievements, lowers the level to comment on appearance.

In a time when male sporting stars are increasingly under scrutiny for their off field indiscretions, we should be celebrating role models such as Ellyse who are kicking goals left right and centre, not commenting on their appearance.

Link to the Tweet: https://twitter.com/sportsbetcomau/status/582001831791841280

[1] Chalkley-Rhoden, Stephanie, ‘Decline of Women’s Sports Coverage in Australia ‘A Tragedy’: Report Shows Drop in Coverage,’ ABC News Online. 12/4/15

Photo by Scott Barbour