Brendan Rodgers refuses to apologise and blames ‘society’ for ‘looking to find something offensive’ amid backlash at his ‘dinosaur’ ‘good girl’ comment, as he reveals his ‘good’ talks with BBC interviewer Jane Lewis

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has refused to apologize after being accused of casual sexism for saying “good girl” to BBC reporter Jane Lewis.

Speaking on Tuesday for the first time since his brief interview with Lewis, for which he was branded a “dinosaur” in some quarters, Rodgers revealed he had spoken to the reporter and blamed society for the reaction.

He said: ‘I spoke to Jane and she wasn’t offended, we had a laugh about it. She’ll keep asking me tough questions, I’m sure, but I see her every week. We have good relationships, like I have with most people in my life, whether professionally or socially.”

“So I find it as saddening as anything: I’m not that type of person, it’s not who I am or how I’m built. But unfortunately for today’s society, people are just looking for ways to bring you down in some way if they can, and that’s not fun.”

On Tuesday, Lewis herself also broke her silence, saying: “The interview on Sunday has clearly become a talking point. “I don’t believe Brendan Rodgers intended any offense and there was no offense committed on my part.”

Jane Lewis had asked Rodgers to elaborate on a cryptic comment about the title race

Brendan Rodgers (left) was accused of casual sexism after saying “good girl” to BBC reporter Jane Lewis after a brief altercation following Celtic’s win over Motherwell

Rodgers, 51, reiterated that he did not feel guilty and did not directly address the “good girl” comment.

“It’s obviously sad to me, I think now in society, where people are looking for something that’s offensive to try to pin people down,” he continued.

“You guys here, any journalist or reporter, I’ve always based my life on relationships, so I’ve always offered warmth and respect to people, been courteous and offered time to people. That will never change.

“Obviously, if there was that little bit that was out there, or a big bit, whatever it was, then I feel the need to address that. I deal with people in life, whether they are players, I want them to get better, people in the media.”

Only one question about the incident was allowed in the broadcast portion of the press conference and other journalists were subsequently excluded from that questioning as they were told it was ‘a football press conference’.

Rodgers was also keen to point out a recent example of using a woman as an inspiration for his Celtic players.

He said: ‘The irony of all this is, and I shared this with players not too long ago, the story of Jessica Watson, a young woman of 16, who traveled solo around the world on a boat and the documentary I saw was really inspiring. It was called ‘True Spirit’ and I shared that with the players in terms of the inspiration they could get from such a young woman, what she had gone through.”

Campaigners from the organization For Women Scotland accused the Celtic boss of ‘casual sexism’ after he said ‘good girl’ to Lewis following a brief altercation in an interview after Celtic’s win over Motherwell on Sunday.

In the video of the exchange, since released by the BBC on TikTok, Rodgers appears to pat Lewis after his “good girl” comment, before walking away to abruptly end the interview.

Lewis, 53, had asked Rodgers for an explanation after he told her: “As far as the title race is concerned, the story has already been written about this group, but we will write our own story.” When she asked him to explain this, he seemed unhappy with the way the questions were asked and said, “No, no, you know exactly what I mean.”

Lewis again pressed Rodgers to explain, but he appeared to wrap up the interview, saying, “Done, good girl, well done.”

Lewis, a broadcasting professional with decades of experience, has not commented on the matter and is believed to be unaffected.

Campaigners from For Women Scotland called on Rodgers to apologise.

A spokeswoman said: ‘It is depressing that casual sexism is still embedded in the sport. Women’s achievements are underestimated and dismissed, and their professional status is undermined. Rodgers owes the reporter an apology.”

Meanwhile, former Hibs player Tam McManus described Rodgers’ comments as ‘completely embarrassing’ on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Legendary presenter Jeff Stelling was left stunned by the Celtic manager’s ‘good girl’ comment.

Speaking on TalkSPORT he said: ‘Good girl, good girl? My goodness, Brendan. What does he mean?’

Veteran broadcaster Lewis, who previously worked for Sky News, Sky Sports, Eurosport and STV’s Scotland Today programme, was targeted by social media trolls after Sunday’s exchange.

Lewis has covered major sporting events such as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Australia’s Gold Coast.

She covers the European and World Cup qualifiers with the Scotland national football team, as well as Scottish domestic football and European matches involving the clubs.

Lewis previously defended himself against criticism from Celtic supporters. In December 2021, she presented Sportsound on BBC Radio Scotland as Celtic won in the 97th minute at Ross County.

There was a lot of support for Lewis on social media after Rodgers' comment

There was a lot of support for Lewis on social media after Rodgers’ comment

It led to a mass pitch invasion by Celtic fans, with those on social media believing Lewis was angry at the crucial late winner and the reaction.

Lewis tweeted at the time: “I’m somewhat baffled that some people seem to get more joy out of my ‘apparent pain’ than their team winning a football match.”

“For the record, I’m not ‘ratty’, ‘hurtful’, ‘bitter’ or ‘deflated’…”

Rodgers is under pressure during a tight title race with arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.

Rangers beat Hearts 5-0 on Saturday to move five points clear of Celtic at the top, but their late goals at Motherwell closed the gap back to two points.