Belgian journalist under fire after sexist comment about female reporter

Belgian journalist under fire after sexist comment about female reporter
The Belgian journalist was criticised for his sexist comments. Credit: Wikipedia

A Belgian sports journalist and former professional cyclist, Sven Spoormakers, has faced international criticism after making a sexist remark about a young female reporter covering a cycling race in Argentina.

Belén Mendiguren was interviewing a cyclist during the Vuelta a San Juan cycling race when Spoormakers shared a picture of her on his Twitter with the caption “@wielerman cannot compete with this… Or is it cool in Argentina?”

Spoormakers has since deleted the tweet, but it has been widely shared by other accounts.

Australian journalist Sophie Smith immediately responded, criticised him for his comment and engaging him in a discussion about sexism.

Spoormakers, however, continued to place blame on Mendiguren, claiming that “she knows exactly what she’s wearing – or not wearing.” However, Spoormakers replies have also been deleted.

In a follow-up tweet, Mendiguren used the opportunity to draw attention to the complex gender issues behind the comments.

Spoormakers later shared another tweet in which he apologised for the comment, claiming it was meant to be “a funny remark”.

This comes a year after Belgian racing cyclist Iljo Keisse was thrown off the same race for sexually harassing a waitress. Keisse’s father afterwards claimed that the waitress was “suggestive with her ass,” reports The Independent.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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