Imagine putting absolutely everything into your sport and then getting your photograph published in a leading sporting magazine, only to be labelled as the “token attractive woman”.
That’s what happened to Hannah Noel, a member of the Leicester Hinckley Cycling Race Club.
She opened Cycling Weekly, a popular British cycling magazine to see herself pictured in the print edition, with the caption suggesting she was there for her appearance.
Would love to know the story behind this “idiotic” Cycling Weekly caption pic.twitter.com/7OVPK9ANQG
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) September 1, 2017
Hannah shared her disappointment at the caption on her Facebook page according to the BBC, saying:
“I made it into Cycling Weekly, it seems not for my ability as a female cyclist but as a ‘token attractive woman’ – I’m absolutely gutted and disappointed in the magazine. It’s not really the reason I’d want to be in a magazine, it’s sexist and derogatory to female cyclists.”
The photograph had been featured alongside a feature on Hannah’s club. Other men and women from the club were named and had their quotes featured.
Hannah is relatively new to the sport, but told the the Sunday Times that she’s ridden 1,500 miles in six months.
I’m a ride leader with @HSBCUKBreeze trying to give women the confidence to see themselves as cyclists.
This. Is. Crap.
— There She Rides (@ThereSheRides) September 1, 2017
Cycling Weekly has since apologised for the caption (although not before it did the rounds on social media), blaming it on a “member of the sub-editing team who decided to write an idiotic caption.”
The apology from Editor Simon Richardson continued that: “The caption is neither funny nor representative of the way we feel or approach our work. Sadly in the rush to get the magazine finished it was missed by other members of the team and eventually sent to print.”
— Cycling Weekly (@cyclingweekly) August 31, 2017
Clearly, the caption was never supposed to be printed.
However the fact it was written — even mentioned — at all says a lot about the workplace culture.
It may indicate sports reporting still has a long way to go in the UK — despite more than 15 years since the below publishing error.
— Philip Robins (@Phil2Cannes) September 2, 2017
In Australia, the low point of a horse being named Australia’s sportswoman of the year by a daily tabloid is still fresh in the memory.