The illustration featured the likes of Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Tiger Woods.
After Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win earlier this month, there was considerable online discussion to declare him the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). Many jumped the gun and declared him the best athlete ever, and not just limited to NFL. It sparked further discussion on GOATs across different sports but one common theme among most discussions was the commission of women athletes. ESPN’s SportsCenter took it one step further and posted a collage of iconic athletes but the image was dominated by men. Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, and Lionel Messi among a few others, standing in a stadium accompanied by a few actual goats.
Olympian Simone Biles, and arguably America's greatest athlete, called them out, tweeting: There are so many women I can think of that belong in this photo yet there are none.” The image was created by an artist on Instagram (@dayxsleep) and shared by SportsCenter, reported Today. The picture was deleted shortly after it was called out for its sexist take on the great athletes.
Or maybe it's Simone Biles, who can perform gymnastic moves so hard & dangerous that she's the only who can do them - so she's banned from performing them in competition.— Emily A. Schmidt, MTS (@FabulousMissEm) February 11, 2021
A closer look showed that Tennis great Serena Williams did appear to be in the picture, at the back of the image. It speaks volumes that you have to squint your eyes to spot the only women athlete on the collage. You could line up all the male athletes and there are not many that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Serena Williams who has no less than 23 Grand Slam titles. For the record, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal share the record for most Grand Slam titles with 20 titles each. They're still three short of Serena. Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian is certainly of the opinion that he's married to the greatest athlete. He was seen cheering the champion wearing a T-shirt that read: "Greatest female athlete" with "female" crossed off.
British tennis player Andy Murray laid bare the sexism when he corrected a reporter, who said his opponent was the "first US player" to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam match since 2009. He appeared to have missed out that a number of women players had done so previously. "Andy, Sam (Querrey) is the first American player to reach the semi-final of a Slam since 2009," said a reporter, only for Murray to interject and remind him, "Male player." The reporter responds, "I beg your pardon?" Murray makes his point again. The reporter attempts to laugh off his error, "Yes, first male player, that's for sure." Andy Murray didn't appear too amused to entertain the reporter's sexism. Serena and Venus Williams, Madison Keys, and Coco Vandeweghe had for Grand Slam semi-finals since 2009 at the time.
There are so many women I can think of that belong in this photo yet there are none https://t.co/Tsxyl8iMtO— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) February 17, 2021
Simone Biles reckons Katie Ledecky, Alex Morgan, Sue Bird, Simone Manuel, Allyson Felix, Lindsey Vonn, Megan Rapinoe, and Serena Williams should be in the conversation among the greatest athletes ever. While Simone Biles pointed out that she noticed other women athletes missing from the picture, the gymnast herself is a strong contender for the title of the GOAT. She has 30 Olympic and world championship medals, of which 23 are gold. She is the most decorated American gymnast.
Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg, first female Ballon D'Or winner after scoring over 250 career goals at the age 23, asked to twerk on stage in front of footballing giants and the public watching. Disgusting and really ruined her moment she deserved. Poor. pic.twitter.com/FSz0ozz2T4— Seán Walker (@SeanWalkerSport) December 3, 2018
Women athletes still face sexist questions and are treated with disrespect on a regular basis. One disgraceful moment was when Ada Hegerberg, a stellar striker and the first woman to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award was asked by the host if she could twerk on stage, reported Newsweek. This came seconds after Hegerberg said the award was a sign of the women's game was getting the recognition it was due. "This is a huge step for women's football," said Ada Hegerberg. French DJ Martin Solveig, who was on stage, asked the footballer if she could do a "twerk" performance. She adamantly replied, "No," and walked off stage. The crowd was shocked at the blatant sexism. The Lyon striker, who was just 23 at the time, had scored a stunning 250 career goals.