Ian Wright: 5 ways the Arsenal legend is championing women's football

Ian Wright working as part of ITV's coverage

In his post-playing career, Ian Wright has always been a highly-respected pundit with stints across television and radio.

In recent years, however, the Arsenal legend, who hit 133 goals across his Premier League career, has emerged as a champion of women’s football, promoting and investing in the women’s game.

Here’s five ways Wright has shown himself to be an ally of women's football.

Wright has spoken in support of the challenges female pundits face

Wright has promoted and supported female pundits throughout his career.

After Karen Carney deleted her Twitter account following the abuse she received online, Wright spoke in support of his co-worker and outlined the challenges specific to female pundits.

In an interview on the BBC podcast Game Changers, Wright said: "I feel for them because they've got no wiggle room. When they're on the television, if they say anything wrong they're taken to the cleaners. People want them cancelled and it's unfair.

"I was with Lianne Sanderson the other day, it was a joy. She knows so much. They've made me up my game.

"When you listen to what they say, they make you have to research more, and that's what it's about. They shouldn't be put off by it because they're doing the work to be on there.

"They deserve to be there."

Ian Wright has been a welcome addition to ITV's women's football coverage

Wright’s called for matches at venues such as the Emirates

Like many, Wright showed his support for women’s teams playing their matches at the clubs main venue.

We have seen this have huge success over the years, including a North London Derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Arsenal hosting Chelsea at the Emirates.

This summer, Wright shared a social media post explaining why Arsenal women's Champions League match should take place at the Emirates.

It was just another example of the Arsenal legend using his platform to grow and raise awareness of the women’s game.

Wright is very knowledgeable of women’s football

Perhaps, a few pundits could take note of Wright, who speaks so well and clearly has a true interest in the women’s game.

In an era of questionable football commentary, Wright is a welcome addition to the television coverage of women’s international and domestic football.

"I have to say at the moment it’s probably Katie McCabe at left-back," Wright said, when asked who his favourite player was on an episode of UMM's YouTube series Assumptions.

"She’s one of those players where you don’t get less than 8 out of 10 from her. Gets on with the game, flies into tackles, great footballer, great crosses, at the moment scoring great goals."

Wright knows his stuff. Whether paying homage to talents such as McCabe or Vivianne Miedema, his passion for the women’s game is clear and, importantly, it is genuine.

Wright working as part of ITV's England Women's coverage

Wright’s role as an FA Women’s Super League Ambassador

Alongside Kelly Smith MBE and Chelcee Grimes, Wright was announced as an FA Women’s Super League Ambassador.

The FA and Barclays are seeking to build the profile of the WSL, with the biggest ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand.

The move aims to give every girl access to football in schools by 2024 and change the perception of women’s football in the UK.

Wright’s love for the Lionesses

In his recent punditry work with ITV on the women’s national football, Wright has not only been a welcome pundit, but used his own following to promote the women’s game.

Following Beth Mead’s second-half hat-trick against Northern Ireland, Wright was quick to share praise for the Arsenal striker online.

It’s important that ex-players such as Wright are using their following to grow the women’s game.

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