ESPN and the SEC are outraged by a SEC network announcer's perverted comments about gymnasts.
A promotion for women's gymnastics in Alabama-Arkansas on February 14 took place during a broadcast of a men's basketball game between Missouri and Arkansas on Saturday evening Sidebar between main speaker Richard Cross and basketball analyst Barry Booker,
Cross suggested that the event could be "a good idea for Valentine's Day when you are in one of these locations".
"Go hang out with the ladies … I mean, I want to see some lightly dressed girls!" Booker replied.
"No, no!" Cross said emphatically. "One of the great family atmosphere that you can find in all university sports is gymnastics meetings."
"It was Barry Booker."
"I stay at home and watch – I'm actually on the go," added Booker. "I'm somewhere in my hotel room watching" Friday Night Heights "."
Booker Apologized for reports later on the show, but the damage had already been done.
Both the SEC and ESPN's own SEC network quickly denounced Booker's comments.
"The comments that basketball analyst Barry Booker made on the gymnastics program for Missouri’s Arkansas basketball game yesterday in Missouri are inappropriate and do not meet the expectations we have of the SEC network," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement On Sunday. “The SEC sports student in the area of women's gymnastics deserves our support for many reasons, including her commitment and performance. We are in contact with the SEC network and ESPN staff and I am confident that this issue will be dealt with appropriately. "
The SEC network Quote-tweeted the SEC's statement with the following answer:
“The comments made on TV yesterday were inappropriate and unacceptable. We take this matter seriously and address it internally. SEC Network respects all student athletes and strives to present women's sport with the greatest care. "
Former Arkansas gymnast Sydney McGlone also condemned the statements.
"As a former gymnast in the SEC, I'm disappointed with the comments made to gymnasts during the ARK / Mizzou basketball game yesterday," said McGlone tweeted on Sunday, "However, I am happy that the commentator is being reprimanded and we can address the issue."
"I was largely disappointed with the comment due to the bad intentions and sexualization of a sport that had so much to do with sexual abuse," McGlone told the Washington Post. "Gymnasts are often seen as negative for what we need to wear, and the fact that a trained professional would make such a comment was uncomfortable!"
Booker, a former Vanderbilt basketball star, was an analyst for the SEC network for six seasons. He was faced with backlashes in 2014 for killing a producer during an Alabama LSU game.