David Goodwillie: Raith Rovers face backlash over International Women's Day tweet

Raith Rovers have been criticised over an International Women’s Day tweet – just weeks after signing footballer David Goodwillie, who was ruled by a judge at a civil court case in 2017 to have raped a woman

The Kircaldy club came under fire last month after they signed the striker with several resigning from their posts in protest including a director, the ladies captain, and lead sponsor, Val McDermid withdrawing her support.

Raith’s director, Andrew Mill relinquished his position on the board in protest over Goodwillie and club’s supporter liaison officer, Margie Robertson, also announced her resignation in protest.

Following the signing of Goodwillie, the captain of the club’s women’s team, Tyler Rattray, also announced she was quitting playing for the team stating she wanted ‘nothing to do with Raith’ after the signing.

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The move by the club sparked reaction from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with Rape Crisis Scotland also releasing a statement.

The club now face a social media storm after posting what fans are calling an “embarrassing” and “hypocritical” message on Twitter, showing their support for International Women’s Day.

The tweet from the club read: “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

“A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

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Raith Rovers are facing backlash after tweeting a message about International Women’s Day

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David Goodwillie banned from Clyde FC's Broadwood Stadium by its owners

“A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality.

“Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias #IWD22.”

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Social media users have hit back at the club with many lashing out at their “brass neck” for tweeting something on International Women’s Day.

One user wrote: “You tweet this while having a player on your books who was branded a rapist in civil court.

“Are you serious?”

Another added: “Imagine a world where we recognise the impact of gender-based violence on our communities and the impact of re-traumatising people when we make decisions for ‘footballing reasons’.”

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A social media user posted under the tweet: “You people are absolutely 100% tone deaf and deserving of every criticism coming your way.”

One fan wrote: “It’s not like a post like this is bad obviously, but a post and a “we’ve recently got it very wrong and continue to try improve etc etc” would at least show some contrition. This is just empty and hollow.”

Some did defend the club tweet however, with one user writing: “Club getting shot for saying nothing, get shot for saying something.”

Clyde had resigned the striker on loan but moved to terminate the loan after North Lanarkshire Council wrote to the cinch League One club telling them they would be immediately evicted if the striker entered Broadwood.

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The council announced it had written to the club to exercise a clause in the lease for the Cumbernauld stadium which entitled it to “refuse entry to the stadium to any individual on the grounds of undesirable behaviour”.

The 32-year-old now looks set to go back into football limbo after Raith stated they would not play him in the face of widespread criticism and would instead enter into negotiations to end his two-and-a-half-year contract with the club.