SBS World Cup Host Lucy Zelic Claps Back At The People Who Are Angry She Says Names Correctly

"You’re not pronouncing it for anyone other than the nation that you’re covering. Out of respect to them."

Lucy Zelic

SBS World Cup host Lucy Zelic has addressed viewers who have been complaining about the way she pronounces the names of foreign players.

Specifically, the way she pronounces the names of foreign players… correctly.

Zelic has been leading SBS’s coverage of the 2018 World Cup, and has made a point of pronouncing each player’s name as it would be pronounced in their home country. Her efforts have been applauded by many fans, but have also sparked criticism from certain backward corners of the internet, where people apparently have nothing better to do than attack a woman for doing her job well.

On Monday, Zelic and her co-host Craig Foster addressed the criticism, with Zelic telling viewers it was a matter of “respect”.

“I wanted to just touch on this stuff I’ve seen regarding the pronunciations because I think you’re doing an absolutely amazing job,” Foster told Zelic, before invoking the memory of legendary SBS broadcaster Les Murray.

“Les was always very specific on his pronunciations for a number of reasons,” said Foster.

“Firstly because that’s what SBS is about. SBS is about respecting every single culture and of course the way you use the language is the most important way to show respect to someone… If you can’t get someone’s name right it means you have no regard, you haven’t done the work, you haven’t tried.”

“Secondly, Les also did it out of respect for the game. The game broadly and also the players who play the game was always very important to him.”

“What you’ve done here has been brilliant,” Foster added. “It’s not only proper, it’s actually important for Australia… it’s something you should be very proud of, and something that I think adds a lot to our coverage.”

“It means a lot to me because of the legacy Les put in place, and also the sentiment behind it,” replied an emotional Zelic. “You’re not pronouncing it for anyone other than the nation that you’re covering. Out of respect to them. You’re pronouncing it for them.”

“I’ve had Colombians, for example, write to me and say ‘I’ve been living in Australia for 37 years and constantly having my name mispronounced has always been a difficulty for me. To have it pronounced correctly is really quite touching’.”

“That is why I’m so beyond proud to work for SBS, because it’s always been about servicing the minority and about respecting the cultures we have in Australia.”

You can watch the pair’s entire response below.