There has been a lot of talk lately about BWF’s decision to introduce a new rule requiring female players to wear a skirt while playing. As much as I try to be an objective member of the media, I should disclose that regardless of how hard I try it is impossible to eliminate personal bias and I feel an obligation to state that I am personally against the rule. Nevertheless I feel it is important to provide an equal opportunity for discussion and debate amongst the two sides.
Today I had the chance to speak to two different people on opposing sides of the debate.
First I had the pleasure of speaking to BWF Deputy President Paisan Rangsikitpho. Mr Rangsikitpho has been involved with BWF for a number of years in several different roles, and he has been involved in the sport of badminton for around 30 years.
In this interview the Deputy President spoke about:
-What level of tournaments this applies to
-Why BWF decided that this was necessary
-What BWF is saying to respond to some concerns regarding
- perceptions of sexism
- players concerns over skirts being restrictive while playing
Next I had the pleasure of speaking to Anna Rice. Anna is a recently retired professional badminton player with 12 years of playing experience and who was closely involved with the change to equal prize money for men and women.
In this interview Anna Rice spoke about:
-How in her view BWF’s arguments for why this is not sexist don’t hold up
-The variety of professional players who have openly spoken out against the rule
-Media and human rights groups have begun to condemn the rule
-How a rule singling out a gender shouldn’t be any different than a rule singling out an individual race
-How tennis and other sports build stories around the individual players and provide extensive media training to players