Reacting to the sexist NextGen ATP Final draw party with GIFs
Ahead of the NextGen ATP Final in Milan, event organizers held a draw party on Sunday to reveal groups for the round-robin stage of the tournament, which features the top 21-and-under male singles players. The event was meant to reveal those groups in a celebratory way.
Sounds great, right?
Well, unfortunately those in charge of the soiree decided to turn what would otherwise be a pretty humdrum event into a completely sexist spectacle, which objectified female models. SIGH. The tournament ironically features the tagline, "The future is now." But this party looked more like 1957 than 2017.
The ATP NextGen Milan draw ceremony made players select models to determine their groups. Stunningly uncomfortable, cringeworthy and trashy. pic.twitter.com/g63OfK5IOK- Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) November 5, 2017
Let's break down what happened, shall we? You'll find there are no words to explain a lot of the actions and decisions made, so we'll just respond with GIFs instead.
It started off okay, in theory, as the ATP and event organizers wanted to showcase Milan's status as a fashion capital.
There was even music and a runway!
But that's when things took a turn. Female models were brought out with letters "A" and "B" hidden on their bodies to determine where each player would play.
The players discovered said letters, and their grouping, once they, ahem, selected a model.
The first two models walked down the runway with their respective letters and the top two seeds, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov.
Then, the next highest two seeds were brought out, and the higher-ranked one was given a choice of two models. He would find his pairing based on the letter on her body, and then the lower-ranked player would be "given" the other one. This continued for all eight players.
One player had to remove a model's gloves with his teeth to discover what letter was written under them, and another found his letter on the model's thigh.
Many of the players reportedly looked uncomfortable throughout, and the crowd in attendance and many, many more on social media (including Judy Murray) were shocked and dumbfounded by the display.
ATP and Red Bull, an event sponsor, issued an apology after the outcry on social media, saying they "apologize for the offence caused by the draw ceremony" and called the execution of the event "in poor taste and unacceptable."
So, we're nearing the end of 2017 and women are still being used as eye candy and sex objects to promote a sporting event, despite the fact that some of the best tennis players in the world are, you know, women. You of all organizations should know better, ATP.