Dear Olympic commentators,
Every four years, the best athletes in the world come together to compete on the top international stage: the Olympic Games. These athletes put their lives on hold to train daily in hopes that they will qualify and be able to represent their country. Every athlete is talented beyond belief, has an incredible work ethic and deserves to be there. Yet, you seem to think that somehow the women athletes are lesser athletes than the men. You have been making rude, sexist, inappropriate comments about the athletes purely because they are women. And that is not OK.
Why do you feel the need to first talk about how old a female athlete is, whether or not she's married and/or has children, and her outfit and makeup? These women are here to compete. They've earned the right to compete. I wasn't aware that being married affected your ability to swim, or run or shoot. Why not talk about their achievements? The first comment that was made when Katinka Hosszu broke the world record in the 400 meter individual medley was "and there's the man responsible for her performance" with a pan to her husband. I'm sorry did I miss something? Did her husband just swim a fantastic race and break the world record? I thought this was the women's race? Plot twist. Give credit where credit is due. And I promise her husband doesn't deserve it.
Your sexism doesn't stop with swimming, either. It continues throughout all events, but possibly the most noteworthy is with the women's gymnastics team, which is the best in the world, I might add. Yet, they look like, "They might as well be standing around at the mall" because they were talking on the sidelines? Sir, they were 10 points ahead of the competition. I don't see you competing or honestly being qualified to discuss Olympic gymnastics if that is what you have to say. I'd love to see you do what those women were doing and then be criticized and downplayed because they were talking when they weren't competing. I wasn't aware you expected dead silence from the athletes when they weren't competing.
As I've been writing this article I've heard multiple sexist comments and you don't even seem to notice, and if you do, you don't care. When describing Simone Manuel's family, you stated her father and brothers' sports accomplishments in basketball and describe her mother as "athletic in her own right." What does that even mean? You mentioned that beach volleyball will be happening later and the only other comment was, "and they are dressed for the weather down here" as an explanation for why they aren't in a bikini. No mention of the time or who the U.S. team will be playing.
Furthermore, there is no reason that the female athletes have to clarify that they are themselves, not the "next" Michael Phelps or whoever you pick. They are Katie Ledecky, Maya Dirado, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and many, many others. Learn their names. Learn their story and accomplishments. And for crying out loud, learn how to stop being so damn sexist because these women are better athletes than you will ever be.
A pissed off viewer.