Celtic boss 'saddened' by reaction to calling journalist 'a good girl'

Brendan Rodgers made the comment following his side's 3-1 win at Motherwell.

Brendan Rodgers has responded to the criticism he has received over comments made to a journalist following Celtic’s 3-1 win over Motherwell on Sunday.

The Hoops boss called journalist Jane Lewis “good girl” following his post-match interview at Fir Park.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Rodgers said he is “saddened” that society “looks to find offence” and that he is “not that kind of person”.

He also revealed he has spoken to Ms Lewis regarding the incident and said they both laughed about it and expects to field awkward questions from her in the future.

“I think, sadly for me, in society now we are either looking to offend or find something that is offensive, to try to pin onto people,” he said.

“I think you guys know since I’ve been up here, and any journalist or reporter or anyone one in the media, that I have always based my life on relationships.

“So I have always offered a warmth and a respect and courteous, and offering time to people. And that will never change, so obviously with what is out there I feel the need to address that.

“I deal with people in life, whether that’s the players and wanting to help them become better or people in the media.

“I have spoken to Jane and she wasn’t offended, we had a laugh about it, and she’ll continue to ask me awkward questions I’m sure.

“But I see her every week and we’ve got good relations like I do with most people in my life, whether that’s professional or social.

“The irony is that I just shared with the players not so long ago the story of Jessica Watson, who was a young woman at 16-years of age who travelled around the world solo on a boat and the documentary I watched on that was truly inspiring, True Spirit it was called.

“And I shared that with the players because of the inspiration they could take from someone like that and what she’d been through.

“So I found (the criticism) saddening more than anything, because, one, I am not that type of person, I could never be that as it’s not how I am built, and two, saddened for society because people are just looking for some way to bring you down if they can and it’s not nice.”

Following the win at Fir Park the Celtic boss was interviewed by the BBC reporter and gave an irritated response early in the interview that showed he wasn’t happy at a focus on the first half performance, and then, in reference to the title race, stated that “the story has already been written about this group, but we will write our own story”.

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

Lewis replied that she wasn’t sure what the manager meant by his comments and that people would be interested to hear more, prompting Rodgers to end the interview.

After Rodgers was asked if he could say more, he replied “Okay, done. Good girl. Well done, cheers.”.

Lewis laughed and told listeners: “There you go, he’s done”.

Rodgers has been widely criticised for the comment with some groups going as far as to suggest it was “casual sexism” and urged him to apologise.

Ms Lewis said on Tuesday that she does not believe he meant to offend.

She said: “Clearly, the interview on Sunday has become a talking point. I don’t believe there was any offence meant by Brendan Rodgers – and for my part there was none taken.”

Rodgers was speaking to the media to preview Celtic’s game against Dundee on Wednesday night.

He also revealed that defender Maik Nawrocki faces a spell out with a hamstring problem but Cameron Carter-Vickers is ready to start Wednesday’s game against Dundee.

Carter-Vickers returned from his own recurring hamstring issues to replace Nawrocki on the hour mark as Celtic came from behind to beat Motherwell 3-1 at Fir Park on Sunday.

“He has felt his hamstring in the game so that will set him out, I don’t think for too long, but a period of time,” Rodgers said of the Poland under-21 international.

“(Carter-Vickers) will need managing but he is ready to start if need be. You see the difference when he comes into the game at the weekend. He’s a top operator but we just have to be mindful of his minutes and his time.”

The Scottish champions currently sit two points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership with ten games, including to Old Firm derbies, left to play.

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