The head of the Premier League Richard Scudamore will almost certainly be fired next week. The media knives are out. His career obituary has been written already. His crime was to send some pretty unpleasant sexist emails to pals on his work email address.
Had Scudamore said publicly what he wrote in the emails he should have been fired. Had he sent them as a round robin to his entire address book she should probably also have been fired. But he did not. He shared private jokes (albeit not funny ones) with his pals.
Had the lads shared these comments in the pub there would not have been an issue. However technically ones work emails belong to one’s employer and so Scudamore seems likely to be toast. But do we really want to live in a world where to share an (unfunny) joke with a pal or indeed to send any communication that is not work related you have to switch from your work account to a Hotmail one and send it to your mate on gmail?
Has life really got that serious? The working day benefits from the odd light hearted non-work bit of banter and must we really all switch onto personal accounts to take part in such exchanges lest anyone be offended.
It strikes me that Scudamore has done a good job in promoting women’s soccer. He could continue to do that with folks knowing that underneath it all he is a bit of a sexist beast. I wonder how many men in the world of soccer are entirely beyond reproach in this matter? How many are prepared to stand up and say that they have never told a sexist joke or made a disparaging comment about girlies in private? For if that is the qualification to be CEO of the Premier League I very much doubt that there would be that many suitably qualified candidates.
We can live in a grey world with strict rules about what you may or may not say to a mate on a work email if we like. It all seems rather Orwellian to me. How long before email audits to establish that employees have never made an inappropriate comment are demanded by some PC imbecile with limited real world experience?
Or perhaps we might just get on with our lives and be judged by the end results we deliver? Is that too much to ask?