SEC Announcer Slammed for Sexualizing Gymnasts | Athletic Business

SEC Announcer Slammed for Sexualizing Gymnasts

An SEC basketball announcer is in hot water after making some off-color commentary about an upcoming college gymnastics event. 

Barry Booker, an SEC Network basketball announcer, was discussing an upcoming gymnastics broadcast while announcing Saturday's Arkansas-Missouri men's basketball game. Booker’s partner, Richard Cross, suggested watching the meet would make for a good Valentine’s Day activity.

Booker countered that he might tune in for the “scantily clad girls.”

Cross was quick to denounce Booker’s comments with a vehement “No!” He added that the competitions are “one of the great family atmospheres in all of college athletics,” but Booker continued laughing, according to Yahoo Sports.

The SEC Network and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released official responses a day later. Sankey called the comments “inappropriate,” while the network said it would handle the matter internally.  

Arkansas gymnast Sydney McGlone condemned the comments to The Washington Post.

“I was mostly disappointed with the comment due to the ill intent and the sexualizing of a sport that has already faced so much when it comes to sexual abuse,” McGlone, 22, told The Post in a text exchange. “A lot of times gymnasts are already seen in a negative manner for what we have to wear, and the fact that a trained professional would make such a comment was just discomforting!”

Booker apologized for the comments after the broadcast.

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