Let’s imagine that yesterday, as Murray finally sealed his Wimbledon victory and climbed up to the box to hug his mum, pals and girlfriend, commentator John Inverdale issued this statement:
“Do you think Murray’s dad told him when he was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a Nadal, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?”
No, no you wouldn’t hear that because in the men’s game it wouldn’t matter would it?
For an experienced and veteran commentator like Inverdale his comment was poorly chosen, tactless and didn’t need to be said, however unfortunately I can see what I think he was trying to get at. In a ham-fisted way Inverdale has pointed out the crux of the issue at the core of a lot of women’s sport, that if you don’t fit the perceived mould of acceptable attractiveness you are at a disadvantage. You don’t get sponsorship, media coverage or endorsement deals regardless of your grand slam wins if you’re female and not as aesthetically pleasing, whilst since this time last year i’ve not been able to open a paper without seeing Andy’s face looming out at me, a face that, if I was going on looks, i’d rather not see all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, Murray is a fantastic player, great role model and now Wimbledon titan, I have a lot of respect for him and don’t mind seeing him in adverts, but I’m not rushing to fight Kim Sears for him and think there’s many who’d agree with me. The same could also be said of plenty of other male athletes with hefty endorsement deals, however it doesn’t matter as they are superb sports stars. The story just isn’t the same for sportswomen. Case in point – Anna Kournikova. Despite never winning a grand slam or moving higher than 8th in the Singles world seedings, she’s still one of the highest ever earning female tennis players because man, she was pretty.
Bartoli is in no way unattractive, she just isn’t Sharapova, Wozniacki or any of the other blonde amazons of the WTA. As she said herself, she’s not blonde and she didn’t come in to tennis to gain a modeling contract, she came into win. And win she did, so why should the rest matter?
p.s in searching for a photo to illustrate this blog good old google search came up with the below sub groups for Bartoli:
Yep, that’s – Fat, Hot, 2013, Marion Bartoli Sexy and Feet…..
So I did a quick search for Murray and got:
Wimbledon, Muscles, Serve, Body, 2012.