RTÉ GAA pundit Ursula Jacob has spoken out about her decision to respond to an article that was written criticising her presenting skills.
She took to Twitter this week after a Facebook page posted the article with the caption, “Ursula Jacob Comes in for Hammering on The Sunday Game Panel”.
This was followed by a quote which read, “We give out about the games being on Sky but thank god the option is there to turn off Ursula Jacob”.
The four-time All-Ireland camogie champion explained that she was in Wexford Hospital for an antenatal appointment when she became “quite upset and quite hurt” about the abuse.
It was then she decided to take to Twitter to fire back at the online trolls.
On Twitter she hit back at the sexism that she faced as a woman in the sporting world.
“Usually I never entertain and give keyboard warriors an ounce of time or thought but sometimes enough is enough and standing up for yourself is more important than constantly just putting up with nasty, tasteless comments from faceless cowards,” she wrote.
“I’ve also no problem with anyone disagreeing with any comments I make while working with RTE or on the Sunday Game, that’s part and parcel of the job.
“What I do have a problem with is an anonymous person/ people setting up a page trying to create headlines out of nothing, facilitating nasty personal attacks and one again targeting another female pundit or presenter.
“Have we seriously not just moved on with the times at all or are we still stuck in the past?”
She continued, “Lucky for me I am a strong woman who has a brilliant support network who always have my back and are super proud of me.”
“At least I am brave enough to stand by my opinion on national TV whereas some faceless coward has to hide behind a keyboard to try promote nothing but pure nastiness and bullying.”
“I’m not into tokenism or making up numbers. I am there because I have a voice and can give an informed and educated opinion.”
She told South East Radio, “I was quite upset when I saw the article on Sunday, I won’t lie. I was quite hurt. I’m a human being at the end of the day like any of the other lads. I felt on the Sunday evening and the Monday morning, it was still bothering me and it was still upsetting me.
“I was in Wexford hospital for an antenatal appointment, currently pregnant.
“And I was sitting in the waiting area and I started writing, what effectively became my statement that I put out last night.”
She added, “Very rarely do they comment about my knowledge, or my analysis, or my contribution, because they know that’s up to the standard.”
“Why can I not speak about a hurling game as much as any male can speak about a camogie game?”
“I’m a proud woman to be on the Sunday Game. It’s an honour for me.”
Ursula isn’t the only female sports pundit who has been facing scrutiny from the same Facebook page, they also posted comments directed at Anna Daly when she presenting earlier this year.
Benchwarmers.ie, who originally published the article, posted an piece with the headline ‘Ursula Jacob Fires Back at Online Trolls’, and in it said that all RTÉ pundits have come in for heavy criticism on its website, whether they are male or female.
“While we probably shouldn’t be giving wind to their sail, people are interested in the commentary online as well as on the TV,” the article says.
“We apologise to Ursula or any of the pundits on RTÉ that we might have offended by reposting comments and opinions online that might have been negative to any of the RTÉ panel.”