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SEC Network Condemns Announcer's 'Scantily Clad Girls' Comment About Gymnasts


The SEC Network is condemning a basketball announcer's inappropriate comments made about women's gymnastics during a broadcast on Saturday.

Barry Booker's comments came during an SEC network telecast of a men's basketball game between Missouri and Arkansas. After announcer Richard Cross teased a promotion for an upcoming gymnastics meet. Booker described gymnasts as "scantily clad girls." 

Cross responded "No!" to Booker's comment and called gymnastics meets "one of the great family atmospheres that you will find in all of college athletics."

Both the SEC Network and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released statements on Sunday calling Booker's comments "inappropriate."

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"SEC Network respects all student-athletes, and is committed to showcasing women's sports with the utmost regard," the network said.

Sankey said the conference is in communication with the SEC Network and ESPN, which owns it.

"The SEC's women’s gymnastics student-athletes deserve our support for many reasons, including their dedication and achievement," Sankey said. "We are in communication with the SEC Network and ESPN personnel, and I am confident this matter will be handled appropriately."

Booker reportedly apologized for his comments later in Saturday's telecast.

Former Arkansas gymnast Sydney McGlone condemned Booker's remarks on Twitter and said she's glad he is being reprimanded. She also commented on his actions in a text exchange with The Washington Post.

"I was mostly disappointed with the comment due to the ill intent and the sexualizing of a sport that has already faced so much when it comes to sexual abuse," McGlone told the Post. "A lot of times gymnasts are already seen in a negative manner for what we have to wear, and the fact that a trained professional would make such a comment was just discomforting!"