Belgian journalist and former pro cyclist Sven Spoormakers posted a screengrab on Twitter that has caused outrage on social media after making a crude comment referring to a young female reporter covering the Vuelta a San Juan.
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?”
And it lead 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-t 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 alright 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.”