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WSF responds to Fox anchor's offensive Danica Patrick comment

Last week Fox sports announcer, Ross Shimabuku, stopped just short of referring to NASCAR driver Danica Patrick as a b---- during an on-air broadcast. Shimabuku, who joined the station in May 2009, showed a video clip of Patrick at NASCAR Media Day, where she complained the media always describe female athletes such as herself as "sexy."

"Is there any other word that you can use to describe me?" she asked about a Fox headline that said: "Danica Patrick. I'm sexy and I know it!" When the broadcast came back to Shimabuku, he said: "Oh, I've got a few words … Starts with a 'B', and it's not 'beautiful.' "

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, WSF Senior Director of Advocacy, responds to the offensive comment and others like it:

“The Women’s Sports Foundation supports Danica Patrick’s public reminders that she is an accomplished competitor, and calls for comparable punishment for all types of slurs made against competitive athletes. Ross Shimabuku, a Fox announcer, called Danica Patrick the “B Word… and it isn’t beautiful” in response to Ms. Patrick’s request to the media to be described with adjectives other than “sexy”. His reprimand should be in line with announcers calling any athlete a bigoted name, such as when an ESPN anchor used an offensive phrase referring to Jeremy Lin. The name calling belittles women athletes, and challenges their rightful place as members of the athletics community.”

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