Newstalk presenter Ivan Yates got himself into hot water with listeners following remarks this morning on his radio show where he dismissed claims that Eugenie Bouchard’s controversial twirl was “sexist”.
Yates was not too impressed when co-presenter Chris O'Donoghue raised the issue, describing him as having "antenna for insults that don’t exist” for claiming that there was something wrong with the women’s tennis number seven being asked to twirl after winning her second round match win at the Australian Open.
“I watched it a couple of times and thought she looked extremely uncomfortable,” said O'Donoghue, playing audio of Tennis Australia’s commentator Ian Cohen’s asking Eugenie Bouchard to show off her neon pink and yellow dress.
“It was very unexpected,” Bouchard said in her post-match press conference, “I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl.”
“She was only asked as a compliment,” said Yates, insisting there was nothing “wrong with a men finding women attractive”.
Yates' opinion did not go down well with listeners, with some referring to him as a "dinsoaur" or as a "misogynist".
Brushing off the comments, Yates said: “There is a fundamental issue here. If a women is complemented by a man that she is stunning… then some people take that as sexist or offensive.”
“If she had been in a skirt beyond her knees and was unattractive, he wouldn’t have asked her to do it. It was a compliment.”
Asked if he would approve if one of his daughters was asked to twirl by her boss, Yates shrugged off the comparison saying that they were always helped to "give a twirl after they bought something."
“Drag your knuckles up Ivan," O’Donoghue snorted. "And stop pretending you don’t understand the problem.”
It may only be the second round, but the Australian Open has already been marred by another sexism row after a male TV presenter asked women’s world No 7 Eugenie Bouchard to “give us a twirl” following victory on court.