Masters

Commentator in hot water over sexist comment

2017-04-11 07:55
Angela Akins and Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)

Cape Town - World renowned golf commentator Peter Alliss has caused a row after making a sexist comment about the attire of Sergio Garcia's fiancé as the Spanish star celebrated winning the Masters on Sunday.

READ: Sergio Garcia made nearly R100 000 per shot at Augusta!

According to the Stuff website, while footage was shown of Angela Akins reacting to Garcia's first major win in 74 attempts, Alliss' voice was heard saying "she's got the shortest skirt on the campus".

The 86-year-old commentator, who has worked for the BBC since 1961, made the comment off-mic, but it was still picked up on a live mic and heard in BBC coverage of the Masters.

The BBC has since confirmed Alliss believed he was off air when he made the "lighthearted" comment and accepted it was "inappropriate".

Akins and Garcia have been together almost two years. She is a former college golfer who has worked as a reporter on the Golf Channel. The pair announced their engagement in January this year and plan to marry in July.

Garcia triumphed at Augusta National, beating European Ryder Cup team-mate, England's Justin Rose, on the first playoff hole to secure his maiden Major title at the age of 37 after 73 previous attempts.

The comment was the latest in a string of sexism rows to engulf the long-serving commentator. 

Just earlier this month, Alliss told Newsweek "no matter how you wrap it up, women will never be able to do things that men can do".

"If we want to be equal, are you going to get a woman fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world (in) boxing? Are you? Could you?"

"I don’t like to see women punching each other in the chest. I think it will cause irreparable damage."

He stressed his comments were about physical differences, adding: "I’m not talking about being a lawyer or an accountant."

Alliss added: "I think women are more delicate than men. I like holding chairs for women. I don’t care for macho women and yet they’re prevalent today."

In 2002, Alliss called Japanese golfer Shigeki Maruyama "the wily Oriental", while after the 2015 Open Championship, which was won by American Zach Johnson, Alliss made a sexist comment about Johnson's wife, Kim Barclay.

"She is probably thinking - 'if this goes in I get a new kitchen'," Alliss said as Johnson holed a putt to win the Claret Jug.

The BBC later apologised for the comment.

Alliss won 31 tournaments in his 28-year career as a professional.

Read more on:    masters  |  peter alliss  |  sergio garcia  |  golf
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