Divya Deshmukh Sexism Row: 5 Instances In Sports That Involved Sexist Remarks

Taking to social media, the 18-year-old called out sexism that is still prevailing in chess. Here are other five instances from other sports that involved sexism

Indian chess player Divyaa Deshmukh Photo: X/@ChessbaseIndia

Sexism in sports is quite relevant and Indian chess player Divya Deshmukh was the latest one to be a victim of it. The 18-year-old chess start alleged that she endured sexist behaviour at the recently-concluded Tata Steel Masters in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands, saying they "focussed on irrelevant things like her hair, clothes and accent" during the tournament.

Hailing from Nagpur, the youngster who won the Asian women's chess championship last year, shared a lengthy social media post calling out the misogyny that women players face routinely while elaborating on her unpleasant experience in Wijk Aan Zee.

"I have been wanting to address this for a while but was waiting for my tournament to be over. I got told and also myself noticed how women in chess are often just taken for granted by spectators," Deshmukh said.

"Most recent example of this on a personal level would be in this tournament, I played a few games which I felt were quite good and I was proud of them.

"I got told by people how the audience was not even bothered with the game but instead focused on every single possible thing in the world: my clothes, hair, accent and every other irrelevant thing," she wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday.

“I felt it was unfair in a way because if I go to any guy’s interview there would be way less judgement on a personal level, actual compliments about the game and the player. I feel women are under-appreciated and every irrelevant thing is focused on and hated on while guys would probably get away with the same things. I think women face this on a daily basis and I’m barely 18. I have faced so much judgement including hatred over the years for things that don’t even matter. I think women should start getting equal respect,” Divya wrote.

Sports players in the past have been a victim of sexism and misogyny as we list down five instances -

1) Luis Rubiales - Jenni Hermoso Row (Football)

Spanish and world football in general was caught amidst a scandal involving the then Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales and Spain's national women's team footballer Jenni Hermoso. During the trophy awarding ceremony, Rubiales had kissed Hermoso sparking huge controversy across the sporting world. Hermoso later revealed the kiss was 'not consensual' to which Rubiales denied.

However, the Spanish authorities as well FIFA and UEFA acted rapidly that led to the dismissal of Rubiales as the Spanish FA President. Moreover, reports in Spain and across Europe termed it as a part of sexism that still prevails in football.

2) Miyu Kato (Tennis)

Japanese tennis player Miyu Kato was a victim of sexism at last year's French Open when she along with her partner Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified from the women's doubles in the third round after Kato inadvertently struck a ball girl. What's more, he appeal was to restore her ranking points and prize money were rejected by the authorities and was instead slapped with a fine.

As the tennis world protested blatantly about this, Kato stated that ball kid's gender and infact she cried were the reasons behind the disqualification. "The umpire and the supervisor talked to me afterward and said, 'If the ballkid was a boy, it would have been ok,'" Miyu Kato said.

"They also explained to me that since the girl cried for more than 15 minutes they had to make a decision because if she had stopped after five minutes, everything would have been alright; or if the ball had hit her legs or arms, everything would have been okay. But no, because it was in the neck it was different," she added.

3) Richard Keys And Andy Gray (Football)

Famous football commentators from the UK Richard Keys and Andy Gray were booted from the Sky Sports football team back in 2011 for their sexist comments made towards a female official named Sian Massey. During a Premier League gae involving Liverpool and Wolves, Massey made a close offside decision that was wrong upon reviewing.

Here's what transpired:

Keys -"Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her Massey.”

“Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said - they probably don’t know the offside rule," Gray added.

"Course they don't," said Keys.

Gray replied: “Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s f*cked up big.”

Both Sky Sports and the FA condemned the comments, that led to Keys leaving his role and Gray being sacked.

4) Joey Barton (Football)

Former Manchester City and QPR midfielder Joey Barton has caught himself amidst another controversy albeit off the football field. The Englishman has launched a tirade of attacks on women on his social media posts and one such comment was him claiming that England's men's football team would beat their Women's counterparts 30-0 in a single half.

5) Roshan Abeysinghe (Cricket)

During a T20 women's match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, a cricket commentator named Roshan Abeysinghe made a sexist remark towards the Bangladeshi player after she overstepped (the replays suggested otherwise).

He said, "It’s a no ball as well. Now this is unpardonable,” Abeysinghe said.

“Unpardonable on two counts: one, a spinner; second thing, a lady… a women’s cricketer. I don’t think they have big strides, so in that context, very very surprised how she could overstep.”

After Abeysinghe was called out on his social media account, the Sri Lankan commentator apologised for his remark.