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'This is b*****ks' - Stephen Jones attacks women's rugby research results

By Kim Ekin
Stephen Jones /Getty

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Outspoken UK rugby columnist Stephen Jones has drawn fire after publically criticising new research into discrimination in women’s rugby.

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The Sunday Times journalist – who is known for his tendency to stir the rugby pot – took new new research undertaken by Harlequins, The Harlequins Foundation and Australia’s Monash University in discrimination in women’s rugby to task on social media.

The research found, among other things, that womens’ players are often presumed homosexual simply for playing the sport and that many had suffered abuse as a result.

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According to the research 88 per cent of respondents said people “often” incorrectly assume that they are lesbians because they play rugby. The research also found that 55 per cent of women and girls agreed that “many women feel unwelcome to play rugby because of the jokes and negative language some people use about women”.

The research also found that “79 per cent want negative banter about women to stop in rugby, and 80 per cent want homophobic banter to stop.” Previous research by Harlequins found 65 per cent of men wanted sexist/homophobic banter to stop.

Jones clear took umbrage with the findings and tweeted that: “Sorry. In my experience this research is bollocks.”

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Many lept on the back of Jones who the attack on the research.

“I’d be interested to hear what “experience” Stephen Jones has of the reality of being a woman, be that in rugby or in general life,” penned one rugby fan. “Maybe the next award he gets should be for Gowl of the Year.”

“Stephen Jones is not only an old entitled contrarian that writes bile and shite, he is also quite the prick,” wrote one account. “I’ll trust university-led findings over your one-eyed, white middle-class experience cheers.”

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“Ah yes, Stephen Jones choosing the worst possible position on this situation. And uses his “experience” in being an old white man to discredit research he disagrees with. Classy move, Stephen,” wrote another.

Another posted: “In my experience, Stephen Jones is a clown.”

The research results were released as part of Harlequins’ third-annual LGBTQ+ Pride-themed game.

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