The BBC has come under fire for a tweet laughing at young female footballers from a village team.
The broadcaster initially wrote a piece online about Crick Ladies who lost 34-0 against Corby Town Ladies on Sunday in the Northamptonshire Women’s and Girl’s Football League Division One.
In the article the secretary of Corby Town Ladies, Sheila Lauder, praised the Crick team’s spirit and said their goalkeeper had pulled off some fantastic saves.
However on Monday evening, the @BBCSport Twitter account, which has 6.21 million followers, sent out the message “Think your team have had a bad start to the season? Well, it could be worse...” along with a graphic of the league table showing Crick Ladies with a goal difference of -80 over three matches.
Crick Ladies are playing their first season, and is made up of players aged over 16.
Teenage girls have a high drop-out rate from playing sport, with more than half giving up once they leave school.
There are campaigns to highlight sport for young women, promote women’s football, and the BBC even runs its own Get Inspired campaign to encourage people to take up sport.
Reactions to the BBC’s tweet included those criticising the corporation for discouraging people from playing sport, and questioning why they felt the need to highlight the case in such a way.
Daventry Rangers, whose ladies team was just about Crick on the table tweeted by the BBC, replied saying: “Nice to see the BBC backing new grassroots clubs with ridicule for trying. BBC Get Inspired ruined by themselves.”
Chloe Brown said: “Not sure why this is promoted. People wanting to get out, get fit and have fun. Why mock that? How much sport do you do?”
Barbara Brandon wrote: “Disgusting tweet they play because they love football, don’t get paid, pay to play, how the hell do you think they feel now?”
Daniel McNamara tweeted: “And you advertising that is positive for them or women’s football how?”
After being contacted by this newspaper, a spokesman for the BBC said: “The tone of the tweet was appropriate for social media and clearly linked to the full story on our website.”