“I think one of my players will have to rape someone"
Stuart Baxter, manager of Indian Super League side Odisha, has been sacked after making rape comments during an outburst in a post-match interview.
The English manager’s outburst came after seeing his team lose 1-0 against Jamshedpur on Monday, February 1, 2021.
During his interview, Baxter said his players must “rape or get raped to win a penalty”.
Baxter gave his interview live on popular Indian sports network Star Sports, where viewers of the network peaked at 1.3 billion in 2020 alone.
After becoming aware of Baxter’s statement, his club instantly sacked him after deeming his comments to be “completely unacceptable”.
During his interview after the match, the 67-year-old said:
“You need decisions to go your way, and they didn’t. I don’t know when we are going to get a penalty.
“I think one of my players will have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty.”
Odisha FC tweeted a statement following Stuart Baxter’s controversial comments.
The Club is appalled at the comments made by Head Coach, Stuart Baxter during the post-match interview today. It is completely unacceptable whatever the context and does not reflect the values of the club.
— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) February 1, 2021
The club said: “The Club is appalled at the comments made by Head Coach, Stuart Baxter during the post-match interview today.
“It is completely unacceptable whatever the context and does not reflect the values of the club.
“We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologise and the club management will handle this matter internally. #OdishaFC”.
The tweet was soon followed up:
“Odisha FC has decided to terminate Head Coach, Stuart Baxter’s contract with immediate effect.”
“The interim coach for the remainder of the season will be announced soon.”
Stuart Baxter’s comments have also left football fans disgusted with the British football manager.
Twitter user David Kappel wrote: “Swift and right call by Odisha.
“Baxter’s ‘rape’ comments – in particular of the context of today’s world – were completely out of line!”
Swift and right call by Odisha. Baxter's "rape" comments – in particular of the context of today's world – were completely out of line! https://t.co/mNWYWoQXSw
— David Kappel (@kappilinho) February 2, 2021
Stuart Baxter became the manager of Odisha in 2020. Now, he leaves the club at the bottom of the Indian Super League table.
The team has picked up just eight points from 14 games so far this season.
Baxter’s comments are not only damaging for both Odisha and the Indian Super League but are also contextually problematic given the widely reported rapes in India. It is currently being described as a crisis.
According to government data from 2019, nearly four women are victims of rape every hour in India.
However, that number is likely to be higher due to reports not always being filed.