Olympic Commentators Can't Stop Being Sexist
This time it’s a BBC commentator putting his foot in his mouth
Credit: Instagram/Laura Trott
British Olympians Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are a true cycling power couple. On Tuesday, Trott and Kenny won gold medals in the women’s omnium and men’s keirin, respectively, bringing their tally to 10 gold medals between the two of them.
But BBC commentator Chris Boardman managed to deflate some of the excitement by asking what seemed like a blatantly sexist question following their victories. “She’s doing all the emotion for both of them really—he’s looking at her wondering what’s for tea!” Boardman said in his commentary.
While some felt Boardman’s comments were taken out of context, others were livid that Olympic commentators can’t seem to keep a lid on the sexist remarks.
Boardman attempted to defend himself with a mostly intelligible tweet, though many were not convinced.
Just to clarify, "what's for tea?" is often I question asks me! It's nothing to do with gender!!— Chris Boardman (@Chris Boardman) 1471385528
@GGMPson @Chris_Boardman I'm sure it wasn't meant in a sexist manner but gender stereotyping really isn't helpful.— Owen Jones 🏴🇪🇺 (@Owen Jones 🏴🇪🇺) 1471386729
To quote Chris Boardman... Jason Kenny is asking Laura Trott "what's for tea?" Really Chris?!?!? #sexist #Rio2016 #Olympics— Niketta (@Niketta) 1471385529
Seriously, did Chris Boardman actually just make that awful sexist joke?! #Rio2016 #trackcycling— Laura (@Laura) 1471385227
Chris Boardman's comment was sexist. How interesting that his BBC mates came out to support him.— CintaPym (@CintaPym) 1471453832
Maybe you can chalk up Boardman’s remark to miscommunication, but the fact remains that Olympics commentators have been surprisingly sexist during the Rio Games. Just last week, another commentator, this time from NBC, made the asinine statement that Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú owed her impressive victory to her husband. And on Monday, Andy Murray received credit for a record that was actually smashed by tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams.
With NBC Universal dominating Olympic coverage in the US, you’d expect the media giant to step up its game if it wants to retain viewership. And out of respect for the incredible athletes competing at the Olympic Games, let’s hope commentators from every network start referring to their skill more often than their gender.