A cycling magazine has been forced to apologise after using the caption “token attractive woman” for a photo of a female cyclist in its latest edition.
Cycling Weekly faced an online backlash after Twitter user Carlos Fandango posted a photo of the offensive caption on a feature about the Hinckley Cycling Race Club in Leicestershire, of which he’s a member.
— Carlos Fandango (@Chapeau_Velo) August 31, 2017
The tweet was shared hundreds of times, with a number of users contacting the magazine directly to express their anger.
In response, Cycling Weekly editor Simon Richardson blamed the actions of one individual for the sexist remark and claimed the incident was not representative of the magazine’s culture as a whole.
“In this week’s issue of Cycling Weekly we published a regular Ride With feature with the Hinckley Cycling Race Club in Leicester. Unfortunately during the magazine’s production process a member of the sub-editing team decided to write an idiotic caption on a photo of one of the female members of the club”, he said.
“The caption is neither funny nor representative of the way we feel or approach our work. Sadly in the rush to get the magazine finished it was missed by other members of the team and eventually sent to print”.
Richardson added: “We would like to apologise unreservedly to the rider in the photograph, the Hinckley CRC and all our readers. This appalling lack of judgement by an individual is just that, and not a reflection of the culture in the CW office”.
Social media users have urged the magazine to dedicate a future edition to women’s cycling in order to help address gender imbalance within the sport. The prestigious Tour de France allows men only, while British cycling was hit by a sexism scandal recently after a number of high-profile female stars accused the UK’s governing body of presiding over a sexist culture that favours men over women.