Conversations surrounding the analysis of women's elite level sport has been sparked by comments made by AFL great Kane Cornes.
“The media and supporters are scared to objectively analyse what they are watching for fear it will come across as being critical which will create fierce backlash from an overly sensitive cohort,” Cornes said.
Sportswriter and former Cricketer Isabelle Westbury responded to Cornes' comment via Twitter: " If we can’t criticise women’s sport, it’ll never progress. 100%. What is lost is that we often hold women to an impossible standard" Westbury said.
Agree w/ this 👇🏽 but my partic. contribution has been misunderstood.
If we can't criticise women's sport, it'll never progress. 100%. What is lost is that we often hold women to an impossible standard. Espec. in Tests re declarations, risk taking etc.https://t.co/rMM1yCZt6H
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) February 1, 2022
Whilst she agreed with some of the themes that Cornes presented, Westbury reminded audiences that the women playing elite level sports have not had the same opportunities and grassroots pathways as their male counterparts.
As more female sporting stars joined the conversation it became clear that women are welcoming to all objective analyses of their respective sports.
Aussie cricket star Ellyse Perry also took to Twitter saying that she "thinks most female athletes truly welcome this as it validates their or their team's performance and efforts.
“However I think it’s a poor reflection on our viewing population if we think ‘a warpath of criticism’ and overt negativity towards teams or athletes is much-watching television," she said.
1/2 It’s absolutely necessary for the evolution of womens sport that objective analysis and criticism is given. I think most female athletes truly welcome this as it validates their or their teams performance and efforts. https://t.co/lag6GKXHjZ
— Ellyse Perry (@EllysePerry) February 1, 2022
As the AFLW enters just its sixth season, the improvements in skills, scoring and transition work are unquestionable. The push for AFLW players to become full-time athletes has been a repeated conversation.
Players across the AFLW are making sacrifices in hopes of reaching a place where young women and girls will have the same opportunities as men and boys.