Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Cycling magazine apologises after printing sexist caption

Jack de Menezes

A dedicated cycling magazine has “apologised unreservedly” after printing a picture caption that read “token attractive women” over an image of a female cyclist in its latest edition.

Cycling Weekly faced a fierce public backlash after an feature on the Hinckley Cycling Race Club carried a sexist picture caption describing one of its members.

The sexist remark was brought to light by club member Carlos Fandango, who posted a picture of the offensive caption on Twitter along with the message: “So my cycling club made it into @cyclingweekly and this happened. I hope @cyclingweekly apologise. Still a lot of equality work to do.”

The tweet was shared hundreds of times, while a number of social media users directly contacted Cycling Weekly to condemn them and accuse the publication of blatant sexism.

The magazine issued a statement on Thursday to acknowledge the error and issue an apology, with editor Simon Richardson blaming the actions of “an individual” for the sexist remark.

“In this week’s issue of Cycling Weekly we published a regular Ride With feature with the Hinckley Cycling Race Club in Leicester. Unfortunately during the magazine’s production process a member of the sub-editing team decided to write an idiotic caption on a photo of one of the female members of the club,” Richardson said in a statement.

“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.

“We would like to apologise unreservedly to the rider in the photograph, the Hinckley CRC and all our readers. This appalling lack of judgement by an individual is just that, and not a reflection of the culture in the CW office.”

The statement, which was posted on Twitter, drew further responses from readers calling on the magazine to dedicate a future edition to women’s cycling in order to help address the gender balance in the sport.

The divide between men’s and women’s cycling has often been a talking point, with the famous Tour de France allowing men only. Women can compete in La Course, a one or two-day race that has been held since 2016, or La Route de France Féminine, a seven-stage race traditionally held in August as opposed to July. However, the latter was cancelled this year due to a scheduling clash.

British Cycling has also seen a recent sexism scandal, with a number of high-profile female cyclists including Jess Varnish and two-time gold medallist Victoria Pendleton accusing senior figures within the governing body of breeding a sexist culture that favoured males over females.

Independent News Service

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