football

Brendan Rodgers: Celtic manager says he is 'sad for society' after response to 'good girl' comment made at reporter

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has said he is "sad for society" that people want to "bring him down" after saying "good girl" to a female reporter at the end of an interview on Sunday.

Rodgers was accused of "casual sexism" by campaigners at For Women Scotland for directing the term at BBC Scotland reporter Jane Lewis after Sunday's dramatic 3-1 win over Motherwell. Lewis has since said she took no offence at the comments.

The campaigners called on Rodgers apologise - and the Celtic manager addressed the issue at the start of his press conference on Tuesday.

"I will address it because I've been aware of it. Sadly, for me, in society now, we are either looking to offend or find something that is offensive to try to pin onto people," he said.

"I think any journalist or reporter, or anyone in media, I've always based my life on relationships, I've always offered a warmth, respect, being courteous, and giving time to people, and that will never change.

"So obviously when there was that little bit that was out there, or big bit, however it was, then of course I feel the need to address that.

"Like I said, I deal with people in life, whether players - relationships with them and wanting to make them better - or people in the media. I've spoken to Jane and she wasn't offended. We had a laugh about it, she will continue to ask me awkward questions, I am sure. But I see her every week and we have good relations like I have with most people in my life, whether that's professional or social.

"And the irony of it is, I shared with players not so long ago the story of Jessica Watson, the young woman of 16 years of age who travelled around the world solo on a boat - the documentary I watched was really inspiring. True Spirit it was called. I actually shared it with the players in terms the inspiration they can take of a woman of that age, what she's been through and everything else.

"So I find it saddening as much as anything, because I'm not that type of person, I could never be that, it's not how I'm built.

"But I'm also sad for society now, because people are looking and trying to find ways to somehow bring you down if you can. And it's not nice."

Earlier on Tuesday, Lewis issued a brief statement regarding her interview with Rodgers, saying: "Clearly, the interview on Sunday has become a talking point. I don't believe there was any offence meant by Brendan Rodgers - and for my part, there was none taken."

Reflecting on the Scottish Premiership title race after the weekend win at Motherwell, Rodgers told interviewer Lewis: "The story has already been written about this group, but we will write our own story."

Rodgers appeared unhappy with her questioning and said: "No, you know exactly what I mean."

When pushed again, Rodgers appeared to end the interview by adding "Done, good girl, well done."

Campaigners at For Women Scotland responded: "Rodgers owes the reporter an apology."