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[OPINION] Warner & De Kock incident indictment of misogyny still rife in sport

Sport is generally an emotive career and whether you are competing in contact or non-contact sport, there will always be a high level of competition.

We saw this emotion during day 4 of the first Test match between South Africa and Australia at Kingsmead in Durban where a visibly angered David Warner had to be restrained by his teammates from possibly knocking Quinton de Kock’s lights out on the stairway to the players' changing rooms during the tea break.

Now the Australians, and for a lack of a better word, are generally pompous characters on the field of play. They take personal interactions to a different level.

The fracas that ensued between Warner and De Kock was indicative of sport still being a misogynistic environment and heavily degrading towards women. There is always a line that must be drawn towards sledging no matter how fine it is and involving spouses, siblings and mothers is a step too far.

Involving women to evoke an emotional reaction and get underneath your opponent’s skin is crass and unsavoury.

Whatever Candice Warner’s past life involved should never land up in a cricket game and used as ammunition to win an argument. And whatever De Kock’s sister and mother did in their own lives should never have been used to discombobulate the Proteas keeper’s efforts to try and win a cricket game for his country.

Our industry is a beautiful one, but it is still degrading towards women and shows little respect towards women. There is still a great deal of unlearning that still needs to be done from men in the sports industry in terms of what is an acceptable level of treatment of women in general and particularly women in sport.

What happened in the first Test in Durban should never be an occurrence that we are comfortable with and I don’t only mean seeing players in an altercation, but also the contents of what people say to each other to evoke an emotion.

Give women the respect they deserve and never use their honour and integrity to win an emotive battle on the field of play.

Philasande Sixaba is a sports reporter at Eyewitness News.

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