Firestorm over female reporter’s nipples
Belgian journalist and former pro cyclist Sven Spoormakers has caused outrage on social media after making a crude comment referring to a young female reporter covering the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina.
Spoormakers made reference to the reporter's low cut top after taking a screenshot of her interviewing one of the riders for television, asking in Dutch: "Is it cool in Argentina?"
It led to numerous fans and pundits condemning him for allegedly sexually objectifying the young reporter.
Australian journalist Sophie Smith challenged Spoormakers on his remark, writing: "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 bulls*** like this."
Spoormakers then responded: "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."
Smith then incredulously hit back: "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 d**k looks in a pair of shorts would you be all right with that?"
British reporter Ned Boulting then weighed in to lend his support, quoting one of Smith's tweets and 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' tweets were also latched upon by frustrated fans, with one writing: "Mate, she's wearing a top. That's it. What's the problem? Jesus Christ you're a dinosaur."
While another commented: "She isn't exposed in any way Sven. You commented inappropriately as if her body is available for you to simply discuss. That's objectifying her. Not cool."
And another Twitter user added: "Absolutely frustrating. @SvenSpoormakers your comment is inappropriate.
"We are more than the clothes we wear. If you can't understand why your comment is inappropriate I suggest getting some training around sexism."
This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission