Why does it have to come to #CoverTheAthlete ?

With sexism in mind, questions and comments made about women are now being questioned.

Many people have voiced their displeasure with the different ways in which women in sports are interviewed.

#CoverTheAthlete is a new hashtag that is bringing attention to the media for the sexist questions which female athletes have received. Cover The Athlete’s website has featured comments and multiple questions that have been asked to female athletes:

“Give us a twirl! Tell us about your outfit” — said to Eugenie Bouchard.
“You’re getting a lot of fans here,” “A lot of them are male, and they want to know: If you could date anyone in the world of sport, of movies — I’m sorry, they asked me to say this — who would you date?” — said to Eugenie Bouchard.
“Generally, I’m all for chunky sports stars … but tennis requires a mobility Serena cannot hope to achieve while lugging around breasts that are registered to vote in a different US state from the rest of her.” — said about Serena Williams.
“I just wonder if her dad did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14: Listen, you’re never going to be a looker, you are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5 foot 11, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.” — said about Marion Bartoli.

In response to the way women have been treated by the media, a video was made of male athletes being asked the same questions that female athletes had received in the past.

None of the questions asked in the interviews from the video are about the performance of players, but instead are about physical characteristics. Similarly to reports and pictures about female reporters, it is apparent that female athletes are not being covered for what they do on the field, but instead are consistently being questioned about their personal lives and are judged for how they look.

A She Knows article calls the video done by #CoverTheAthlete “brilliant” because it “brings attention to the stupid, sexist questions female athletes are so often asked, by asking the very same questions to male athletes.”

At what point will it take for the media to understand that female athletes should be recognized for what they do on the field? Serena Williams, who has been one of the many to receive sexist questions, has even fired back to reporters for what they have asked her.

In a time and age where females are making large steps in the right direction in sports, it is incredible to see that female athletes continue to be recognized more for their looks and background than what they actually succeed in for their profession.

When it comes down to it, a reporter’s goal is to get a story. For an athlete, the story should be about what takes place on the field. More importantly, and athlete should not be interrogated and harassed by the media for their appearance and personal lives, male or female. With that, the real question is: why does it have to come down #CoverTheAthlete when it should be that from that start? Reporters have one job, and many are not doing it properly and respectfully.

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