96 Million Dollars!!
No, it’s not a ransom demand from Dr Evil, nor the GDP of Fiji – it is the sum total of Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard’s earnings for the last 12 months.
Let’s not stop there – this month Bouchard was ranked at #1 for the title of Highest Paid Tennis Player in the World by People with Money Magazine.
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Bouchard has her own brand of Canadian Vodka, her own top-selling perfume and a restaurant chain.
Not to mention lucrative endorsement deals with companies such as Nike, Coke and Covergirl Cosmetics.
She also, on occasion, plays a spot of tennis.
But what she will seldom do, what (sadly misguided) feminists will cry foul at her being asked to do, is that most despicable of acts…A post-match twirl.
If you missed the world-stopping, jaw-dropping centre court controversy on Australia Day let me catch you up here.
In a post-match interview Bouchard was asked to ‘give us a twirl’ by interviewer Ian Cohen to showcase her outfit.
Now, before I walk the anti-feminist plank here, let me say that I think Cohen’s question was really (really) stupid.
But it was not sexist. It was completely within the realms of media context – Bouchard had just that day tweeted about her outfit (as opposed to her match preparedness or title aspirations).
If you present yourself in a manner that detracts from your sport (and Bouchard absolutely does), then being asked to field questions that are unrelated to tennis (like fashion, for example) is completely within the realms of likelihood.
The reaction to Cohen’s request naturally sent the twitter-sphere into meltdown as women around the world cried foul.
“Are such sexist requests made of Nadal,” argued the feminists.
Well, the answer is no. But there happens to be a very good reason for that.
Nadal wears pants.
Some people call them shorts, others may refer to them as slacks, trousers or even pantaloons, but whatever their name they perform an important function – spectators cannot see nor are even in the slightest bit interested in looking at his crotchal region.
They are too busy watching the tennis he plays.
Do I think the interviewers question was stupid? Absolutely. But I am sorry ladies you cannot have it both ways.
Either Bouchard is a tennis player and play’s in a uniform that combines both flexibility and relative propriety (like pants for example), or she gets asked to ‘give us a twirl’ by confused journalists who cannot separate her Covergirl / fashion persona from the tennis player.
If women’s tennis is to be enjoyed and respected for the great tennis it offers, then top echelon athletes like Bouchard must make an altruistic choice to put the integrity of their sport first before magazine photo shoot lift-outs and completely inappropriate match-wear.
If they don’t make it about the tennis, then how can everyone else be expected too?
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