Joey Barton Accused of Bullying by Seven-Time World Kickboxing Champion Over Comments on 17-Year-Old Goalkeeper

Joey Barton, a former professional footballer and current pundit, has been accused of bullying a 17-year-old women’s goalkeeper by her father, a seven-time world kickboxing champion, following a series of comments on social media. This incident has sparked a significant backlash, highlighting the broader issue of sexism and bullying in sports and media.

The controversy began during the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) Cup final, where Partick Thistle Women’s goalkeeper Ava Easdon, a 17-year-old, was criticized for her performance. Barton, who has a history of making derogatory comments about women’s football, shared a clip of the goal and mocked Easdon’s performance, stating, “I mean let’s just talk about the goalie! How is this nonsense on the box?”.

Joey Barton Accused of Bullying by Seven-Time World Kickboxing Champion Over Comments on 17-Year-Old Goalkeeper
Joey Barton Accused of Bullying by Seven-Time World Kickboxing Champion Over Comments on 17-Year-Old Goalkeeper

Key Facts:

  • Bullying Accusation: Lex Easdon accused Joey Barton of bullying his daughter, Ava Easdon, a 17-year-old goalkeeper after Barton mocked her performance in an SWPL Cup final match.
  • Historical Criticism: Barton has a history of criticizing women’s football and women goalkeepers, including Mary Earps, which has sparked controversy and criticism.
  • Social Media Reaction: The incident sparked a significant backlash on social media, with many users criticizing Barton for his comments and actions.
  • Impact on Mental Health: There were concerns raised about the impact of social media on people’s mental health, particularly in the context of the backlash against Barton.
  • Barton’s History: Barton has been involved in various controversies throughout his career, including incidents off the field, which have overshadowed his football achievements.

Easdon’s father, Lex, responded to Barton’s comments by accusing him of bullying his daughter. He criticized Barton for belittling a young player who does not get paid to play, unlike some men who earn hundreds of thousands of pounds for their performances. Lex also pointed out that Easdon had moved up from the youth level straight into SWPL1, just starting her journey, and had made a mistake in her positioning 13 minutes into a cup final. He further challenged Barton’s behavior, suggesting that it would not be well-received by his own daughters when they are old enough to see his social media posts.

Barton’s comments have been part of a larger pattern of sexist behavior, including criticizing female players and commentators. He has also made derogatory remarks about women’s football, claiming that women are not qualified to comment on men’s football. This behavior has drawn widespread criticism, with many calling out Barton for his actions.

The incident has sparked a debate about the role of social media in amplifying and perpetuating bullying and sexism. It has also highlighted the importance of holding public figures accountable for their actions, especially when they target vulnerable individuals such as young athletes.

In response to the backlash, some have defended Barton, arguing that his comments were justified or that he was merely pointing out bad goalkeeping. However, many have expressed support for Easdon and her father, with some calling out Barton for his behavior and encouraging Easdon to keep her head up.

This incident underscores the ongoing challenges of sexism and bullying in sports and media and the need for greater accountability and support for young athletes.

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