Metro Morning

Toronto ad executives 'ask' male athletes about their hair, outfits

What would happen if a sports reporter asked Pittsburgh Penguins hockey star Sidney Crosby about his outfit?

Video posted highlights difference in coverage of male and female athletes

What would happen if a sports reporter asked Pittsburgh Penguins and Canadian Olympic hockey star Sidney Crosby about his outfit?

Would the Cole Harbour, N.S., native answer? Would the reporter still be working?

Jessica Schnurr and Hanna Smit are Toronto advertising executives who've pondered these questions. To illustrate their point, they took questions asked of female athletes and inserted them into clips with male athletes reacting to other questions.

"We thought we could use our skill set to shed a light on an issue that's really important to us," Schnurr said Friday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"Initially we wanted to find male athletes and ask them these questions but that's a lot harder to do and probably would have taken us years." 

Since the video was posted on YouTube this past weekend, it has received over a half a million hits. 

They've since put the clip online at CoverTheAthlete.com.

"We've just seen one too many instances of female athletes being asked these ridiculous questions or had commentary about them that had nothing to do with their performance but instead their body or appearance." 

The video ends on an actual interview with Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard being asked about her outfit, and to twirl around for the audience and cameras after winning a tennis match.

"It happened so many times to Serena Williams — the emphasis on outfits and bodies," said Schnurr about the American tennis powerhouse. 

The Cover The Athlete project is something they did as a passion project.

"If we demand better coverage I think that eventually it will happen," said Schnurr. "People are fed up with it, and feel strongly about it. It happens outside of sports as well."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.