PtG Article 13.10.2010

IOC member: Sports media are condescending towards women athletes

Anita DeFrantz, President of the International Olympic Committee's Women and Sport Commission, argued yesterday at a symposium on women in sport at the SPORTELMonaco that sports media are discriminating against women athletes by calling them by their first name.

“When it’s a woman competing she is addressed by her first name and when it’s a man he’s addressed by his last name. If you don’t have the gravitas of a last name how can you be taken seriously? It’s Martina, Chrissie, Venus, Serena but Agassi, Sampras and so on: the seriousness with which women are portrayed is a big question.”

“This is called infantilism, thinking women are not as important as a man: you would never address a man by the first name if you did not know him but a woman, yes”, she added.

Other topics discussed at the symposium included the greater media coverage of men’s sport compared to women’s sport, and discrimination of women sport in terms of administrative roles within both sport and sports broadcasting.