At today's Tour of Flanders cycling race in Belgium, second-place Peter Sagan acted like an entitled dumbass when he grabbed the bottom of a "podium girl" who was posing for the cameras with winner Fabian Cancellara. That lascivious smile on his face is so, so gross.
Even worse, the event's official Twitter account tweeted that photo with this charming caption:
Yes, so naughty with his violating a woman's body — what a joker!
When cyclist and writer Michael Hutchinson tweeted "Shame that Peter Sagan has so much class on a bike and so very little off it," he was bombarded with plenty of people defending Sagan, including women:
@doctor_hutch the podium girls are there to be objectified. He objectified them. The (faux) outrage at his antics is probably misdirected.— K Holliday (@ImpersK) March 31, 2013
@doctor_hutch is it really a big deal? its sagan what do you expect?— Josh O' Regan (@DannysCorsa) March 31, 2013
@doctor_hutch In all honesty, I think he was just assisting the lady in reaching Fab's cheek for a kiss.....— Mr Mark Fairhurst (@MrMarkFairhurst) March 31, 2013
@doctor_hutch Should he have done it?No. Mountain out of a molehill?Yes.— Craig Shaw (@crazeeguy) March 31, 2013
People who are offended are "uptight," and Sagan was "just having fun." And it goes on and on...
Sagan later issued a non-apology:
Was not my intention todisrespect women today on the podium. Just a joke, sorry if someone was disturbed about it.— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) March 31, 2013
Here we go yet again with some very basic lessons:
Even if a woman's job is to wear a short dress and hand out shiny awards to men, it doesn't mean anyone has a right to anything else from her. Sagan crossed the line, a line that should be VERY clear, and his ass should be punished. In a world that wasn't the sexist worst, this shit would be handled with a team suspension and extensive training for Sagan on how to be a human being. Instead he'll probably be high-fived by a bunch of his pals for violating a woman, and th-th-that's all, folks.
A cyclist friend of mine tweeted that while Sagan's actions are entirely ridiculous and he needs to be reprimanded, the whole culture of cycling is sexist. I think a bike is just a shitty car*, but it's obvious to me that women's only involvement in the men's side of the sport shouldn't be as scantily-clad podium girls. When the only women involved are simply for sexual objectification, how can the sport's culture not support bullshit like this? As long as these men think a woman is part of their prize for winning — or even for not winning, as is the case with loser Peter Sagan — nothing will change.
*JK, save the environment!
[via Courier Mail]