Tokyo Olympics chief resigns over sexist comments

Joe Mackie
·2-min read
Photo credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI
Photo credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI

From Runner's World

  • Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori has resigned after making sexist comments, saying women 'talk too much'.

  • The news was confirmed ahead of a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting on Friday.

‘Will the Tokyo Olympics happen?’ has been a huge question hanging over the sporting world during the Covid pandemic. The organisers of the postponed summer games have faced unprecedented challenges, rising costs and much opposition to their plans for the greatest of shows to go on this July.

So the president of the organising committee suggesting that women do too much talking in meetings – and the understandable backlash that ensued – was the last thing the beleaguered event needed.

'On boards with a lot of women, the board meetings take so much time,' said Yoshiro Mori, the 83-year-old former prime minister, according to Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun. Mori was responding to a question about the committee’s plan to raise the percentage of women on the board to more than 40%. 'You have to regulate speaking time to some extent,' Mr Mori went on to say. 'Or else we’ll never be able to finish.'

News of his comments broke as the organisers shared plans for ensuring the safety of athletes at the rescheduled games, with Japan still in a state of emergency and a recent poll finding that 77% of the population are in favour of cancelling the event altogether.

Mr Mori apologised and expressed his wish to retract the deeply offensive comments. 'I recognise the remark was against the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics,' he said at a press conference. 'I deeply regret what I said.' On Friday 12 September, it was confirmed he had stepped down from his position.

Photo credit: KIM KYUNG-HOON
Photo credit: KIM KYUNG-HOON

For many, it will serve as a stark and sad reminder of the work that still needs to be done to eradicate gender bias in the institutions of the sporting world.

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