Tennis Star, Others Applaud Appointment Of New Tokyo Olympics Boss

By Odom Victor Odinakachi on February 21, 2021

Views: 204

As the controversy over former Tokyo Olympic Games organizing committee head, Yoshiro Mori’s comments have continued to make headlines, several sport individuals have condemned Mori’s remarks in strong terms, while rising in support of the appointment of Seiko Hashimoto.

For Kaori Yamaguchi, a judo champion and member of the JOC board, Hasimoto’s appointment is a step in the right direction. According to him, many people believed Mori was untouchable. “I think it’s much easier for the IOC, it’s faster to work with a dictator,” said Yamaguchi, who was present at the JOC meeting where Mori made the remarks.

Yuko Inazawa, a member of the Japan Rugby Football Union when Mori was chair, said she believed Mori’s “talkative women” remarks, in which he had referred his time there, had been directed at her.

“I think conferences dragged on as I was asking questions from my standpoint as an amateur,” Inazawa, who became the first female board member of the JRFU in 2013, told Kyodo. “But that is absolutely not the same thing as saying women make conferences drag on.”

Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, welcomed Hashimoto’s appointment. “I feel like it’s really good because you’re pushing forward, barriers are being broken down, especially for females,” Osaka said after her semi-final victory over Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

“We’ve had to fight for so many things just to be equal. Even a lot of things still aren’t equal.”

A panel formed by the organising committee reportedly agreed on Hashimoto’s appointment – one of only a few prominent female politicians in Japan – after a frantic round of meetings held to search for someone to draw a line under the Mori sexism row and address a host of problems threatening the event.

The 83-year-old former prime minister later apologised and retracted his comments while also attempting to justify them, inviting further criticism. On Tuesday hundreds of people who signed up to volunteer at this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games resigned in protest at Mori’s remarks.

The IOC said in a statement that Mori’s comments were “absolutely inappropriate and in contradiction to the IOC’s commitments and the reforms of its Olympic agenda 2020”. It added: “Besides Mr Mori’s apology, the Tokyo 2020 organising committee also considers his comment to be inappropriate and has reaffirmed its commitment to gender equality.”

More than 400 of the 80,000 people who signed up to volunteer at the Tokyo Games have resigned, according to local media, while an online petition calling for action to be taken against Mori had attracted more than 140,000 signatures by Monday. Olympic organisers said they had received more than 5,500 complaints.

“We are taking this very seriously,” the Olympic minister, Seiko Hashimoto, said on Tuesday morning when asked about the resignation of the volunteers. More than 400 of the 80,000 people who signed up to volunteer at the Tokyo Games have resigned, according to local media, while an online petition calling for action to be taken against Mori had attracted more than 140,000 signatures by Monday. Olympic organisers said they had received more than 5,500 complaints.

Osaka had earlier condemned Mori’s comments and called them “ignorant” but did not call on him to step down. “I don’t know in what situation he said those things, but I think it’s really uninformed and a bit ignorant,” she said.

•PHOTO: Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka

Source Daily Sports

Posted February 21, 2021


 

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