Famous BBC sports commentator John Inverdale has faced mounting criticism ever since he insulted France’s Marion Bartoli with a sexist comments during her Wimbledon win over Sabine Lisicki. Inverdale asked his radio listeners if they thought Bartoli’s father told her she would never be “a looker,” thereby prompting her to work harder for success in the women’s tennis world.
BBC listeners were rightly incensed by the comment. Sue Tibbals, the chief executive of the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation, summed up the outrage succinctly:
This is appalling. Tennis is one of the worst offenders in sport in terms of the focus on women athletes’ looks and the BBC needs to take action. I thought Bartoli was an absolute inspiration, so spirited and gutsy, and she does not deserve these outrageous remarks. This is not a one-off event from this presenter.
Bartoli was classy when shrugging off Inverdale’s idiotic comment:
It doesn’t matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I’m sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes.
The BBC has already issued a brief apology for the remark and the 55-year-old Inverdale himself admitted earlier today that the phrase he chose to use was “clumsy.”