SBS presenter and soccer fanatic Lucy Zelic takes her job of hosting the station’s coverage of the World Cup seriously.
And for her, that means pronouncing the names of players as you would in the country they’re from. You know, saying them correctly.
Yet this dedication to her job is being ripped into and made the subject of vicious online abuse targeted at the TV presenter.
Here’s Zelic, just doing her job. Post continues after video.
It had become so frequent and furious, that she and her World Game Live co-host Craig Foster, were forced to give an impassioned, on-screen explanation overnight of just why pronouncing names correctly is so important.
Zelic and her co-host agreed that as SBS was about servicing minorities and respecting all cultures, it was crucial they showed them the respect of pronouncing their names as sounds correctly to natives.
“You’re not pronouncing it for anybody other than the nation that you’re covering and out of respect to them. You’re pronouncing it for them,” the 31-year-old told her audience.
— SBS – The World Game (@TheWorldGame) June 25, 2018
And perhaps if that pronunciation was the true reason Zelic was receiving abuse for her World Cup coverage, that segment might be the end of it.
But let’s be real here. It’s not. It’s sexism.
How else do you explain the difference in reaction when Zelic’s predecessor Les Murray pronounced players’ names in the exact same way?
Twitter users pointed out that Murray, who retired from fronting SBS’ coverage of the four-yearly competition in 2014, was always considered to be putting extra effort into his job.
Bunch of young flogs criticising Lucy Zelic and how she pronounces names. When Les Murray did it, he was a cult hero. She is paying respect to the world game. Shame on those putting her down, especially women. She has done a stellar job hosting. #Russia2018 #WorldCup
— Anthony Siokos (@AnthonySiokos) June 20, 2018
Yet when Zelic does it…
Lucy Zelic’s over-pronounciation of foreign names is insufferable.
— Strats ???????? (@strats_11) June 19, 2018
And then there’s the fact that along with the pronunciation-based criticism, she is also told she slept her way to the job or is called a “bimbo” or “sl*t”.
This isn’t the first time Zelic has been the victim of trolling. The journalist said that last time she was involved in SBS’s World Cup coverage in 2014, things got so bad that she almost quit.
“At about 12am one morning right before I was due to make my way into the studio, I lay on the bathroom floor in the foetal position crying for hours because I just couldn’t take it anymore,” she said in a piece for SBS.
“At that point, I considered calling my then executive producer Noel Brady to tell him that I was quitting.”
Zelic said the only thing that stopped her was her love for soccer.
It’s just disgusting that this love is what is being used by some to tear her down.