A debate over one of the most discussed topic in today’s time — gender inequality — has started all over again after Australia’s men’s basketball team travelled to the London Olympics in business class – but the women in economy.
Australian basketball officials on Friday said they would review travel policies after stinging criticism over this act.
Bernie Harrower, whose daughter Kristi plays for the women’s team, known as ‘the Opals’, said players have been complaining internally about the policy for years. “It’s always been a bone of contention amongst people in the know that the women have always flown, wherever they have gone, they have always flown in economy and the men have gone business class,” he told ABC
Sports Minister Kate Lundy called for more equitable arrangements after learning that the Australian Opals, captained by global star Laurn Jackson, A WNBA three-time Most Valuable Player, flew premium economy.
Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick described the disparity as “a highly visible example of gender inequality for our best athletes.”
“Not good enough,” she tweeted.
The Australian Olympic Committee said it provided travel subsidies for return economy fares on Qantas Airways for all athletes competing at the games and it was up to sports administrators to determine how they were used.
Basketball Australia has denied sexism, claiming the player’s average heights determine their seating.
The outcry comes after it was revealed that Japan’s world champion women footballers were seated in premium economy while their male colleagues enjoyed business class on a flight to Europe for the Olympics.
“We won the World Cup, our seats were changed to business class for our return flight. I hope we can produce a good result again and be treated the same way,” World Cup heroine and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese media, adding “I guess it should be the other way around.”