Boxing promoters say that they will not be following the lead set by Formula 1 motor racing and darts by ditching the use of “ring girls.” Sean Bratches, the Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1 made the announcement yesterday that “grid girls” will be absent from this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix season, which begins with the Australian Grand Prix next month. In a statement on the Formula 1 website, Bratches said that the custom of employing grid girls no longer resonates “with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms.”
It would seem that boxing promoters are not about to follow suit. As reported by the Daily Mail, British boxing promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn insist that they will continue the practice of having scantily clad women parade around the boxing ring between rounds to “inform the crowd” of the upcoming round number.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Eddie Hearn argues that boxing ring girls serve a purpose and that they are part of boxing tradition.
“Ring card girls have been a part of boxing history for many, many years.”
“From a boxing point of view, we want to keep the traditions of the sport going and in my opinion, it has nothing to do with sexism or feminism. It is just a part of boxing and until we are told otherwise, we will keep them involved.”
The boxing promoters views are echoed by his namesake, Barry Hearn, the boss of the Professional Darts Corporation [PDC]. As reported by the Daily Mirror, the PDC decided to ax the use of “walk-on girls” who accompany darts players onto the stage. Hearn stated that he had come under pressure from TV bosses who argue that the use of walk-on girls is “incompatible with family viewing.”
Mr. Hearn argues that the decision to stop using walk-on girls has been forced upon him by “political correctness,” and says that the “liberal brigade” are out in strength to “force changes in sports.”
"Scantily clad furniture", "sexualising women", "provocative", "Id never let my daughter wear a grid girl outfit"… just some of today's comments, yet people clearly haven't dont their research as these are my outfits from my 5 years in F1 #gridgirl #gridgirls pic.twitter.com/etbcCPnCC1
— Rebecca Cooper (@rebeccageldard) January 31, 2018
Of course, many will argue that boxing is behind the times by continuing to use ring girls. Their view being those scantily clad women serve no purpose in boxing, and that their use is both anachronistic and demeaning. However, as reported by Business Insider, those most affected by the changes are the women who have lost their income to changes forced upon them.