Episode 56 – Bristol Rovers and Her Game Too with Caz May

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The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by Caz May, a founder of the #HerGameToo campaign, host of the GasCast podcast and blogger at Step on the Gas, to discuss her love for Bristol Rovers and dissatisfaction with current manager Joey Barton, as well as the necessity to raise awareness surrounding and combat sexism within football.

Icebreaker:

Fans of Bristol Rovers are known as Gas Heads… a petrol head is an automobile aficionado. The group name their favorite cars.

On Football in Caz’s Childhood:

Caz’s family represents both sides of the Bristol derby and she grew up in a divided household in that sense with her father supporting Bristol City and her mother being a Bristol Rovers fan. Caz was introduced to both clubs by her parents, but it was a Bristol Rovers matchday experience that left a lasting impression on a young Caz and there was no turning back from there.

Caz talks about the struggle to play and be involved in football as a girl growing up; fellow football female football fanatics like herself were few and far between and Caz largely spent her youth as a Gas Head following Bristol Rovers without girl friends to discuss football matters with.

Caz discusses her early memories and personal experiences of sexist abuse directed towards women football fans; from a very young age Caz was aware that football was a male dominated environment in terms of numbers but also (and more concerningly) in terms of attitude. She has memories of herself and others being objectified by fellow supporters when going to games and sadly grew up understanding this to be “the norm” in the world of football. These days Caz is fighting back against sexist abuse throughout football.

Footballers in Commercials Game:

Caz, Joe and Kei have all featured as “talent” in advertisement campaigns and so the group guess which footballers have appeared in specific advertisements.

On Bristol Rovers:

Bristol Rovers recently began the new season in League Two after relegation from League One last time out. Prior to relegation, the club experienced back to back promotions after briefly dropping into Non League football. Caz shares her thoughts on what’s been going wrong for Rovers recently and speaks out against current manager Joey Barton. She also expresses her hopes and expectations for what the club can achieve this season and describes the club culture that exists at Bristol Rovers.

On Joey Barton, like much of the fanbase Caz is less than impressed. With two court cases hanging over his head and a managerial record with the club that verges on criminal, her hope is that the relationship between Barton and Bristol Rovers is more of a fling than a lasting romance.

Her Game Too:

Caz is a founder of Her Game Too, a new campaign run by female football fans to raise awareness of sexist abuse in the game. Since it’s inception the campaign has captured the attention of the footballing cyberspace gained traction amongst fans, clubs and other entities throughout the beautiful game. Her Game Too boasts partnerships with clubs like Bristol Rovers and there are many more collaborations and pledges of support to be announced.

Caz shares what her journey with Her Game Too has looked like; the successes, the stresses and the backlash… despite championing a fantastic and positive cause, Caz has received an increased amount of online abuse as a result of her position with the campaign. A lot of the abuse could be prevented and/or punished by social media platforms and Caz is keen to see them step up their levels of support against this sort of online abuse. In the meantime she urges on the positive side of the online community of football fans to call out the abuse when it happens and band together to defeat the trolls and haters.

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