In February, after England’s Six Nations loss to Wales, broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan asked tough questions on social media and received a barrage of hate mail.
However, when she returns to cover Eddie Jones’ side next month, she has vowed not to soften her pitchside interviews.
While speaking to England captain Owen Farrell about his team’s lack of discipline and whether they should have been more alert before a Josh Adams try during the 40-24 defeat, McLaughlan received a vitriolic reaction that left her in tears.
She promised that as a result of this, she would not have to resort to reciting dry platitudes to the audience. “Everyone in this industry gets social media abuse,” she said.
It was, however, out of this world. What the hell just happened? You’re suddenly hot off the press on social media. I was only doing what I was paid to do. Furthermore, I was baffled as to what my alleged offense had been.
After so many bland post-match interviews, I’m not sure if fans are still surprised when someone does their job. I’m stumped.
However, I believe the opprobrium would have been less severe if the questions had been posed by a man.
“Am I going to evolve? No. For the simple reason that I’m old and ugly enough to deal with it.”
According to McLaughlan, her interviewing style may be fading, with broadcasters increasingly content to stick to the tried-and-true.
She will be a part of the Amazon Prime team that broadcasts 17 international games this fall, including the World Cup.
Her response was that she couldn’t change because she was “hardwired” to be a television broadcast journalist. “I am exactly that. That’s what I do all day every day.”
The sport has piqued my interest. If you’re going to conduct interviews prior to or following a game, at least conduct them correctly.
Keep the platitudes to a minimum. To put it another way: What’s the point?
Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson recently referred to me as the smiling assassin. But it’s a part of who I am, and I do my best to uphold it because I believe it’s right.
Meanwhile, Alex Green, Amazon Prime Video’s managing director, said he and Emma Raducanu had discussed how best to spend the seven-figure sum the broadcaster had received from Channel 4 to show the US Open final.
The money will be used to help develop the next generation of tennis stars, according to Raducanu, who requested that it be invested in young people rather than established players.
It’s important for her to realize that she’s a role model for young girls who might want to pursue sports as a career.
We don’t want the money to end up in a single account. This time, we’ll be in charge and able to decide for ourselves what matters most.
- Mclaughlan Sonja: Matthew Edward Impey/Shutterstock