While the Japanese men’s soccer team fly business class on their way to the London Olympics, the female team are stuck in economy.
Yep, there’s next to no leg room for the girls who are favourites to win a medal at this year’s games. But the men? Seats that turn into beds.
But apparently it’s not just Japan who stick their male athletes in one class and their females in another.
Australia is guilty of the practice too.
This from Fairfax:
Australia’s women basketballers have confirmed they also had different travel arrangements to the men’s squad for the journey to London. While the Boomers flew in business class, the Opals made the long-haul trip in premium economy – and that was an upgrade.
Basketball Australia this morning said it would look at introducing travel equity for the men’s and women’s teams after controversy erupted when it was revealed the Opals travelled to London in premium economy class while the Boomers relaxed in business.Basketball Australia acting chief executive officer Scott Derwin issued a statement where he said this would not longer be the case.”I am putting in place a review of our Olympic travel policy with the goal of ensuring there is equity between travel arrangements for the men’s and women’s teams attending future Olympics,” he said.
A spokesperson for Basketball Australia said that they always take into account players’ welfare and height and size is a major consideration. We did some research – Liz Cambage, who is on the women’s team, is 6 ft 7. While Adam Gibson, who is on the men’s team, is 6 ft 3.
It’s been tough to discover the actual facts of what has been going on here as different reports of unequal treatment have arisen. Some reports have said that the men’s and women’s team have separate budgets and simply choose to spend that money in different ways – the men on business upgrades but not the women.
But the Canberra Times reports “members of the Australian men’s basketball team have a written agreement from Basketball Australia that they will be flown business class for any flight over three hours. The women have no such arrangement.”
The story has got everyone talking today and Basketball Australia have been forced into action. Kristina Keneally, former NSW Premier and soon to be Basketball Australia’s new Chairwoman says there will be a review into the travel policy.