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 OutfitSven Spoormakers/Twitter

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

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/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.

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?

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.’


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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 BJTC-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 taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Sport, Argentina, Belgium, cyclist, Misogyny, Reporter, Sexism