The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team didn't have the best game on Tuesday, and its controversial loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was compounded by the sexist remark manager John Gibbons made following the game.
Speaking during a post-match interview, Gibbons said baseball's new slide rules are a joke and then quipped, "Maybe we'll come out wearing dresses tomorrow. Maybe that's what everybody’s looking for."
The comment was made in jest, but that hasn't stopped many people from taking offence. OK, so it's not the worst thing we've heard, but when female athletes are faced with so much gender-based bias and stereotyping already, not to mention the glaring lack of media coverage and representation, is it any wonder women have reacted so strongly to his comment?
Nice of Gibbon's to say something sexist to distract from his terrible management of pitchers and small-ball #BlueJays— Jock Cartier (@JockCartier) April 6, 2016
Dismissive expressions i.e. "lighten up", "just a joke", "only humour", "no malicious intent" always a way to downplay sexism. #JohnGibbons— Toula Drimonis (@ToulasTake) April 6, 2016
Despite the backlash, Gibbons still refuses to say sorry, instead defending his comment and basically saying that it's technically society's fault for not having a better sense of humour.
"I cannot understand how it would offend anybody, to be honest with you," Gibbons told reporters on Wednesday. "It doesn't offend my mother, my daughter, my wife, who have a great understanding of life. I do think the world needs to lighten up a little bit.
"I know who I am,'' he continued. "I know where my heart is. I show up every day and do the best job I can, try to treat people the way I want to be treated, and I think for the most part I do that. But it amazes me in the world now how simple things... You try to calm things down, and it gets thrown out of whack.''
Gibbons: "It was meant as a little humour. My mom, my wife, my daughter found it kind of funny ... (1of2) #BlueJays— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) April 6, 2016
... They know me. I do think the world needs to lighten up a bit. So, I'll move on from that." #BlueJays (2of2)— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) April 6, 2016
His failure to apologize has made matters worse for some people, who've accused him of having a "failure in leadership."
But not everyone feels Gibbons' comments were offside.
People are too sensitive! #JohnGibbons— Darlene Cameron (@DarleneNS) April 6, 2016
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