There’s few things that make me want to punch someone in the face more than being called a “good girl”.

Unless the person these two words are directed at is under the age of about 13, or a dog, there’s not a single scenario in which this is an acceptable turn of phrase.

When it’s most certainly not acceptable is when it’s directed at a woman who’s going about her job in exactly the same way every man in her profession does.

The particular incident in question came at the end of Celtic’s 3-1 defeat of Motherwell at Fir Park at the weekend.

They had come back from 1-0 down to win.

In Brendan Rodgers’ post-match television interview with BBC Scotland journalist Jane Lewis, the Celtic manager’s first sign of irritation came when asked about his side’s first half performance.

The Herald: Brendan Rodgers

The interview then progressed and, when asked about the title race, Rodgers replied “the story has already been written about this group, but we will write our own story”.

Lewis pressed him to explain his remark, asking: “You don’t want to give us a bit more insight into that and what you mean?” before Rodgers repeatedly said “no”, snapping “You know exactly what I mean”.

Lewis disputed that she knew exactly what he meant and, asking if he could expand on his comment, he replied “Okay, done. Good girl. Well done, cheers.”

Lewis laughed, saying: “There you go, he’s done”, before repeating Rodgers’ comment that she was a “good girl”.

My god.

Lewis is a journalist of literally decades of experience. She’s good at her job and frankly, would have been entirely negligent had she not pressed Rodgers on his initial reply.

So to be called a “good girl” in such a condescending manner for merely doing what she’s paid to do is enraging, to say the least.

The general rule of thumb when considering if something is sexist or not is to compare how often it happens to a man.

So, let’s go. How often have you heard Rodgers, or any football manager for that matter, call Henry Winter or Tom English or Gary Linker et al a “good boy”.

The answer is never, of course.

We’ll never truly know if Rodgers was being intentionally sexist in calling Lewis a “good girl”. 

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he probably wasn’t.

Football managers are more than entitled to be annoyed at their team’s disappointing performance, annoyed at having to explain said team’s disappointing performance and frustrated that they don’t have more positive things to talk about.

But talking to the media is part of their job and if they don’t like it then well, tough.

In so many ways, Rodgers’ intention when calling Lewis a “good girl” isn’t the most important thing to take from this incident.

He may or may not have been meaning to be casually sexist and patronising to her, only he truly knows.

But what it reveals is that, in some quarters anyway, there remains a either conscious or sub-conscious feeling that men are the true football journalists and women are there to make up the numbers.

Let’s not forget, only mere weeks ago, Joey Barton was blowing up social media with his views about women’s football, female football players and women working within the football media.

Barton himself is, many would agree, an absolute clown and his opinions, which some have suggested were if not manufactured then certainly exaggerated in an attempt to step back into a spotlight that has long ago moved past him, aren’t worth wasting any breath on.

But what was so disheartening was quite how many dinosaurs he uncovered who rushed to agree with his view that women’s football is terrible, female footballers are awful and in the main, women working within the football media are there to tick a box rather than add any genuine insight or value.

Female football journalists have worked so incredibly hard to get any kind of standing at all in a workplace that’s so overwhelmingly male dominated and certainly, progress has been made compared to say the 1980s and 1990s.

And few are expecting that, despite it being 2024, all traces of sexism will be entirely eradicated either this year or any time soon.

Football, after all, is just a mirror to society and within society, as every woman knows, sexism isn’t going anywhere.

So while this is not exclusively a football problem, there’s little doubt that football can play its part in not encouraging these views and this behaviour.

What’s so disappointing watching this clip with Rodgers and Lewis is that it’s so avoidable.

Believe it or not, it’s just so easy not to be sexist.

It’s just so easy to allow women to get on with doing their job without patronising them and it’s just so easy to treat professional, adult women with respect.

Rodgers could do with taking note of this.