It’s happened again.
Remember back in January 2013 when Notre Dame and Alabama were playing for the BCS national championship, and at one point sports commentator Brent Musburger, who was 73 at the time, gushed about how pretty then-Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend Katherine Webb was?
“You quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women,” Musburger said during the live broadcast. “What a beautiful woman. Wow!” Sports analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who was calling the game with him, agreed.
For those who missed it, here was the segment that caused feminist meltdowns and a national debate over whether or not Musburger was a dirty old man and sexist pig who enjoyed objectifying women:
— MyBookie CFB (@MyBookieCFB) March 20, 2019
To his credit, Musburger never apologized and to her credit, Webb – who was literally a beauty queen at the time – took it in stride and since then has defended Musburger whenever she has been asked about it.
Here we are over 8 years later and the “issue” of complimenting a woman’s appearance during a sporting event has reared its ugly head once again, this time in the U.K.:
Boris Becker, working BBC’s Wimbledon coverage, caused an uproar for commenting on Márton Fucsovics’s future wife Anett Böszörményi.
“That’s Fuscovics’ fiancee,” Becker’s broadcast partner John Inverdale said as highlights Novak Djokovic’s straight-sets victory over Fucsovics were shown. “Her name is Annette Boszormenyi. If you’re a tennis player, always good to have a partner called Annette.”
In response, Becker – an iconic legend in the tennis world – told Inverdale that “they do say they have the most beautiful women in Hungary. I wouldn’t know that, but she’s certainly very pretty.”
For that mere compliment, Becker is being accused of sexism:
“The charity Women in Sport has worked for decades to change sporting culture including to end the objectification of women,” [Stephanie] Hilborne told the Daily Telegraph. “When two men are comfortable talking about women in this way, never mind on live TV, it shows there is still more to do. We need everyone to understand how this impacts on women and girls, how it makes them feel. Shouldn’t we be inspiring the next generation of girls to play sport rather than talking about what women look like?”
Flo Williams, a Wales international rugby player who founded the Perception Agency, added: “It’s changing room chat rather than commentary chat. Straight away it shows that commentary around women in sport can be so much around what they look like – whether they are playing or not.”
To their credit, the BBC, unlike ESPN during the Musburger/Webb drama, stood by Becker in a statement. “Boris Becker made a light-hearted comment that was not intended to cause offense,” they said.
It should be left at that but of course it won’t be, because “feminists” must find things to be outraged about at all times, and that includes the pearl-clutching over a harmless compliment.
It’d be one thing if Becker had said something like, “yeah, the things I’d like to do to her after the match.” I could definitely understand the outrage in that instance. But he didn’t. He said she was “very pretty.” And she is. Her Instagram page is full of pictures demonstrating it.
Personally, I’m offended every time this issue pops up. It’s embarrassing to me as a woman. There are very few people on this earth who don’t relish a good compliment. Women especially enjoy getting them. Frankly, we’ve got MUCH bigger things to worry about in this world than a man praising a woman’s looks.
In my opinion, British TV talk show host Alex Phillips summed up the thoughts of most women on the matter rather perfectly:
“Women telling men off for paying complaints to women just make the world that little bit more miserable for other women,” she remarked in response to the controversy.
And men, too, in the process! So frustrating all around.
'I say bring back wolf whistles.'
Alex Philips tells Simon McCoy she thinks men should be allowed to complement women on their appearance, after Boris Becker was criticised for calling the girlfriend of a player at Wimbledon 'pretty' live on commentary. pic.twitter.com/mtQFPbptHX
— GB News (@GBNEWS) July 8, 2021
‘Nuff said. It’s time to stop with the stupid.