The NBC Olympic coverage has been pretty good so far, but on Wednesday Steve Porino’s comments about female downhill skiers wearing makeup has people upset, with many labeling the gaffe sexist.
In general the peacock network has a good group of commentators who are knowledgeable and entertaining, however, some are not very happy with Porino.
Here is what happened.
In an effort to relay to viewers just how treacherous the downhill course is for female skiers, the NBC Olympics analyst stood on it, with climbing shoes — the only way not to slide down the mountain — and entered into a very technical explanation about G-forces and the “Forest Drop”, a part of the course the competitors enter at 60 mph.
Continuing his explanation Porino went on to say that the incredibly talented women fly down the height of the Washington Monument, all while making tight turns.
Altogether, they barrel ahead at three G forces, which is like “having an offensive lineman on your back.” Okay, we get it, the feat is incredible.
But then, the NBC Olympics commentator had to add a completely off the cuff line to his interesting piece:
“All of that while in a Lycra suit, maybe a little bit of makeup — now that is grace under pressure.”
Really? What does makeup had to do with anything here Steve? The Olympics are all about who is best at their sport, regardless of how they look or how much makeup they wear.
Some on Twitter have decided opinions about the NBC Olympic commentator’s clueless allusion:
@nbcolympics "a little bit of makeup"? Seriously? Such a demeaning comment on the amazing women skiers.
— Lyne Lamoureux (@lyneL) February 13, 2014
@NBCOlympics completely sexist comment saying women's downhill skiers "wearing Lycra and a little makeup" Are you Kidding me? It's 2014!
— Brian Laslie (@BrianLaslie) February 13, 2014
@NBCOlympics@sporino Did you just make a 'makeup' comment about the women skiers? Really?
— authenti-city (@jennmkay) February 13, 2014
Comment about the women's alpine skiers "in a little bit of make up" is so #notcute Why can't we talk about female athletes without gender?
— Ali E. (@hippolove13) February 13, 2014
Was it necessary to comment that women skiers wear a Lycra suit and "maybe some makeup"?? They're women, yes but also badass athletes! #nbc
— Virginia (@chicfille) February 13, 2014
Many found the NBC Olympic correspondent comment appalling, truly distasteful and obviously Mr. Porino was relating what we all know, that these are women — and as such sometimes wear makeup — but nobody cares about that when they are flying down a steep hill in the biggest competition of their lives.