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Cyclist Sparks Outrage With Crude Comments On Reporter’s Outfit

by : Cameron Frew on : 01 Feb 2020 17:10
Cyclist Sparks Outrage With Crude Comments On Reporter's OutfitCyclist Sparks Outrage With Crude Comments On Reporter's OutfitSven Spoormakers/Twitter

A moron has sparked outrage online after making an inappropriate tweet about a female reporter’s outfit.

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How hard is it? How difficult is it to not be a leering eye? We’re in 2020 now, but somehow we’re still seeing similar controversies: someone makes a daft, crude comment online and they rightly get the flak for it.

Here’s your latest example: a former pro-cyclist and journalist tweeted a screenshot of a female reporter in a low cut top, with the caption: ‘Is it cool in Argentina?’

Sven Spoormakers Tweet About Female ReporterSven Spoormakers Tweet About Female ReporterSven Spoormakers/Twitter

Sven Spoormakers, from Belgium, had the audacity to initially defend the comment when fellow journalists called him out for ‘objectifying’ the reporter, Belén Mendiguren.

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After seeing his tweet, Sophie Smith, a freelance film journalist, wrote: 

Seriously? Please tell me this is lost in translation and you did not just publicly objectify a young female reporter. Speaking from experience, let me say she does the exact same job as you but has to work and withstand twice as much still because of bullsh*t like this.

His initial response is baffling. He replied: ‘Objectify, really? Come on. Don’t draw the feminist card on this one. She knows exactly what she’s wearing –  or not wearing – and why. If I would interview a female athlete with my balls out, you’d be joking about it too. Or calling it a disgrace.’

Of course, a man’s testicles are the same as a woman’s breasts. I myself have been in many interview situations where my immediate concern has been: ‘Sh*t, are my b*llocks on show?’

Or, he’s just entirely wrong. Smith wrote in response:

So it’s her fault because you can’t stop looking at her boobs? What’s she meant to do, wear a potato sack so you don’t get excited? If I take a picture of you at work, post it and comment on how small your dick looks in a pair of shorts would you be alright with that?

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Ned Boulting, a UK sports journalist, supported Smith’s tweets, writing: ‘Over and over and over again, my female colleagues have to defend themselves from institutional disrespect. I take your voice, Sophie, and I add mine.’

Spoormakers has since backtracked significantly, issuing the following apology: ‘What was meant to be a funny remark, turned out to be offensive to a lot of people. That was bad judgement. Sorry. And to @lelumendy in particular: we never met, but if you’re ever in Belgium, you’re welcome to discover I’m not the brontosaurus you think I am.’

The problem isn’t the intent, it’s the fact one would even feel compelled to make such a joke in the first place.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Sport, Argentina, belgium, cyclist, Journalist, Misogyny, Reporter, Sexism