Fox Footy and ABC commentator Kelli Underwood says she “felt sick to my stomach” when she heard Tom Morris’ comments about her colleague.
- Kelli Underwood called on men in the sports media industry to drive cultural change
- Underwood said his female colleagues have regrouped in recent days
- Fox Sports fired Tom Morris on Friday after an investigation into his leaked comments
Morris was fired by Fox on Friday after an investigation into the leaked recording in which he made misogynistic comments about a Fox Sports reporter.
Speaking to ABC Sport ahead of Friday night’s AFL game between St Kilda and Collingwood, the incident was another reminder of the challenges faced by women in sports media.
“It’s emotional for me to talk about it because it really touches me,” Underwood said.
“I had a stomach ache when I heard it. It’s so disappointing.
“Everyone speaks publicly, right? ‘We talk about diversity, we talk about the importance of women’.
“And then knowing that when you walk out of the room, some still live in the Dark Ages, it hurts.”
Underwood said it’s now up to men to stand up to this behavior and lead the charge for change.
“As women and as leaders in this industry, we can be shouted from the rooftops and be accused of standing up for our friends or complaining,” she said.
“I have to say I’m proud of my employer tonight. I’m really proud of what they’ve done. It makes me proud to work for them. But where are the male voices here?”
Underwood said he spoke to the Fox Sports reporter named in the audio recording, who is currently on a mission and “surrounded by strong female colleagues.”
“Which is good because she needs it right now,” she said.
Underwood has long been a leader among female commentators and has spoken of the “spirit among sisters” working in the industry.
“My phone has been heating up for 24 hours. I guess a lot of female co-workers at Fox have checked in on each other and checked on each other’s well-being, which is a good thing,” she said. .
“I don’t think any of us want to be the only woman in the room.
“I had two great moments on Friday morning. I received an email from Lauren Bordin who sent me this email so excited, saying she had just won a full time job in the sports from the AFL grandstand in Melbourne.
“And then Julia Montesano won a global competition to compete in the Women’s Basketball World Cup in September.
“You’re so proud when you hear that, because it’s so hard to get your foot in the door and start.”