Think back to the last time you saw an athlete interviewed. What kinds of questions did the interviewer ask them? Did they talk about great athletic feats and game stats? Did they ask how the athlete balances family or dating life? Well, your answer probably depends on whether the athlete was male or female. #CovertheAthlete is a campaign to promote fair and balanced interviews of male and female athletes. The campaign sheds light on the inappropriate and sexist interview questions that trivialize the accomplishments of the female athletes. To prove their point, they created an experiment where they asked male athletes the exact same questions that female athletes get asked. They shared the results in a Video. From the reactions they got, it’s safe to say that male athletes are not used to getting asked petty and insignificant questions such as “Give us a twirl, and tell us about your outfit”.
Male athletes receive overwhelmingly positive press about using their appearance. David Beckham was voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive this year, and he’s no stranger to modeling campaigns and endorsements. He is rarely criticized for his sexy image and in fact, has made quite a business out of it. His image is added to his list of accomplishments as an athlete and as a family man. Rodger Federer is another accomplished athlete and family man that is built up by his interviewer to be quirky yet suave.
The male athletes, in sports media’s eyes, become the perfect balance of good looks, dedication and success. The female athletes cannot seem to possess any of those traits without mentioning attractiveness or image in a negative way. Or counting it against her athletic performance should she choose to take advantage of her appearance.
#CovertheAthlete is creating a way to expose what is appropriate and inappropriate for a sports media outlet to ask. Sports media is in a position of power. What they say and publish is saved, shared, and talked about around the world and seriously impacts the perception of an athlete. Professional sports at the end of the day is a business and if it benefits the athlete to accept another stream of revenue in the way of modeling or product endorsement that is their choice, and sponsors are willing to pay for it. However, lets keep the body shaming away from sports, and leave the dating talk for talk show hosts. So in the words of Serena Williams…
For more information, visit Cover the Athlete