In today's episode of terrible PR moves, the Women's Tennis Organisation is under fire for creating a "Best Dressed" Twitter poll that ranks female Wimbledon players by their on-court style.
Now, let’s lean into this Devil Wears Prada blue sweater moment style: This poll is about discerning minute aesthetic differences in a group of primarily white, blonde women in all-white outfits — and anyone who tries to pull a Miranda Priestly and wax poetic about the subtle nuances between each pleated skirt deserves to be hit upside the head with a Wilson Blade 104 racket. More importantly: The fact that a sexist poll reducing female athletes to their choice in athletic attire is coming from an organisation established by Billie Jean King to create equality in tennis. That this was lost on the WTA proves how sexism insidiously persists in the world of sports.
Unsurprisingly, this "Best Dressed" poll was quickly critiqued on Twitter:
Twitter users also rightly pointed out that no poll ranking male players' style existed. "Please tweet a link to the tweet asking the same of the chaps' outfits..." one wrote.
Wimbledon is already under fire this year after an analysis of court schedules showed the organisers favour male players, The Guardian reports. This gendered favouritism is all too common in sports, but is especially virulent in ones like tennis, where high-status players like Serena Williams are routinely devalued. Case in point: In 2015, an Australian Open announcer asked Williams and fellow female player Eugenie Bouchard to "give us a twirl" after winning their respective matches. And don't even get us started on that whole John McEnroe thing.
Moral of the story?
Let's stick with game, set, match when it comes to Wimbledon — not outfit dissection.