Feminists accuse Prince William and David Beckham of World Cup sexism

Why feminist campaigners are accusing Prince William and David Beckham of being ‘openly sexist’ for sending messages of support to England ahead of the World Cup final

  • Neither the royal or the football great attended the final 
  • Both have been slammed for the content of their videos 
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show

Prince William and David Beckham are in the crosshairs of a feminist activist group that’s accusing them of using their daughters as shields in messages of support for the Lionesses ahead of their World Cup final on Sunday.

Both the Prince of Wales and Beckham posted videos with their respective daughters Charlotte and Harper ahead of the final against Spain, which England lost on Sunday.

Both apologised for not being able to attend the match, but wished the Lionesses well.

However, online group MFW has blasted the duo for not including their sons in the videos in a move they labelled ‘openly sexist’ as they said the videos amount to ‘micro-aggression’. 

MFW say they’ve ‘had it with the bias and lack of truth in most of our mainstream media’ and are dedicated to ‘promoting positive change’ by using collective consumer boycotts to force the removal of content they believe spreads hate speech.

Now they have set their sights on the heir to the throne and the England football legend, who owns American Major League side Inter Miami.

David Beckham send a video message of support to the Lionesses along with his daughter Harper at their Inter Miami offices in the United States

‘Both Prince William and David Beckham sending videos of themselves and their daughters to the @Lionesses before their #WorldCup2023 match last night was openly sexist,’ the Twitter post reads.

‘Because both featured only their daughters and none of their sons.

‘Because it’s still considered undesirable and even icky that boys might have female role models or be cheering for a women’s team. 

‘If you don’t believe this, imagine that the men’s English football team were into a final: there’s no way on earth those men would feature only sons in any video message and not their daughters, too.

‘Because daughters are expected to cheer for men AND women, while sons are not. A lot of people will see this issue as minor, but it isn’t. It’s called a micro-aggression, which women and people in oppressed groups experience every day of their lives. 

Prince William and Princess Catherine are pictured with their children (left to right) Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte

Pictured left to right: Harper, Romeo, David, Cruz and Victoria Beckham

The Lionesses pose for their team photo ahead of the World Cup final against Spain. No members of the Royal or Beckham families were in attendance

‘Micro-aggressions are small acts of sexism, racism, homo/transphobia and ableism which, over time, grind down the confidence and self-belief of people in those groups. 

‘It’s a huge slap in the face to the women in the team and ALL women, and proves just how far there is still to go in improving the status of women’s sport and all women’s endeavours everywhere.’ 

The post goes on to slam Prince William and Beckham for not attending the final and for urging women to ‘go out and enjoy yourselves’ which MFW deems to be a ‘patronising, demeaning comment which would never ever be said to a male team’.

‘None of this is innocent, and none of it is fair. Do better, all you blokes, because this is still total rubbish. And in 2023, it damn well shouldn’t be,’ the post concludes. 

England’s Lauren James and Chloe Kelly console each other following their 1-0 loss to Spain at the Women’s World Cup final played in Sydney 

While the Royal Family did not send a representative to support England, Queen Letizia of Spain was in attendance and happily mingled with the players and their supporters

The post divided readers, with plenty supporting the message and agreeing Prince William and Beckham could have done more.

‘Pure tokenism! He’s only giving a message to the women’s team because he’s not attending and he happens to have a girl to parade,’ one replied.

‘Total ‘girls as shields’ moments,’ another posted.

‘Totally agree. A little bit of humouring the ladies, so we mean it by have a little girl in the video as well. Truly pathetic. Made worse because they are on ‘holiday’. What absolute crap,’ said another.

READ MORE: Footy club publishes outrageously sexist article slamming the ‘carry on’ around women’s soccer and asking ‘who’s meant to clean the kitchen’ when the Matildas play 

A South Australian football club has apologised after publishing a sexist article in its newsletter criticising women’s soccer and asking who will clean the kitchen when the Matildas are playing.

Others said they didn’t think either party had intended to use their daughter as a statement when issuing their support.

‘I doubt they’re thinking ‘let’s only use our daughters because we hate women’. It’s far more likely they thought (stupidly) it would bring some good will. I agree it would absolutely be hurtful to women. I just don’t think it’s purposeful,’ one follower replied.

Another pointed out that Beckham had only appeared at the Men’s World Cup in Qatar because organisers paid him $277million to be there.

‘Look, if Australian World Cup organisers had paid David Beckham what Qatar did then he would have been there,’ a follower posted.

Beckham also posted a montage of images of the Lioness players when they were juniors with another message of support.

‘These young footballers never stopped believing and grew up to become our incredible Lionesses… and now they will play in a game that dreams are made of. Good luck to the @lionesses ahead of the World Cup final – whatever happens the whole country is so proud of everything you’ve achieved to get to this historic moment. 

‘Keep believing, play with the amazing passion and team spirit you show every time you take to the pitch.’

This message was received warmly by his 82million followers.

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham)

‘Love this… always admire those strong inspiring men who step forward and show support for women and women in sport. True example of a real man,’ one follower replied.

‘Totally love this, as a girl growing up in the seventies who wanted to play football but it wasn’t the done thing then,’ added another.

Prince William and his daughter Charlotte also received a flood of positive messages for their post.

‘What a very great and lovely support message! So amazing to see Princess Charlotte,’ a follower posted.

However, he was also widely criticised for not attending the final. 

Muslim preacher Mohamed Shaar goes on a vile, homophobic rant about the Matildas – labelling them as ‘filthy’ 

Two influential Muslim preachers have shared vile rants about the Matildas soccer team, with hateful messages directed at players in same-sex relationships

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