Golfing star Michelle Wie said: "It's not an invitation to look up my skirt" as she responded to Rudy Giuliani's crude story on Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room’ podcast.
USGA supports Michelle Wie Over ‘Panties’ Comment
Rudy Giuliani was appearing on Steve Bannon’s podcast on Thursday to remember his friend and former radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who died on Wednesday.
Whilst Bannon and Giuliani chatted, the former New York Mayor recounted a tale involving Limbaugh and himself playing alongside Michelle Wie at the 2014 Els for Autism Pro-Am charity event.
Giuliani said: “The paparazzi was driving us crazy! They’re taking pictures! They’re taking pictures! They’re taking pictures!
“Anyway, on the green is Michelle Wie and she’s getting ready to putt. Now, Michelle Wie is gorgeous; she’s 6ft [tall] and she has a strange putting stance.
“She bends all the way over and her panties show. And the press was going crazy, they’re trying to take pictures of her panties. I said, “Roger, it’s not me. It’s not you. It’s her panties.”
Host Bannon didn’t take to kindly to the story, though, as an awkward silence ensued before Giuliani asked: “Is that okay to tell that joke? I’m not sure.”
“Well, you already told it, so I don’t know,” Bannon replies, prompting Giuliani to giggle.
Upon hearing the comments made by Giuliani, Wie responded on Twitter saying: “It’s unsettling to hear of this highly inappropriate story shared on a podcast by a public figure referencing my “panties” whilst playing in a charity-am.
“What this person should have remembered from that day was the fact that I shot 64 and beat every male golfer in the field, leading our team to victory. I shudder thinking that he was smiling to my face and complimenting me on my game while objectifying me and referencing my “panties” behind my back all day.
“What should be discussed is the elite skill level that women play at, not what we wear or look like.
“My putting stance six years ago was designed to improve my putting stats (I ended up winning the US Open that year), NOT as an invitation to look up my skirt!
“Nike makes skirts with SHORTS built in underneath for this exact reason…. so that women can feel CONFIDENT and COMFORTABLE playing a game that we love.”
Many individuals and organisations have come out in support of Wie, with the USGA releasing a tweet saying: “Sexism has no place in golf or life. We are always in your corner, @MichelleWieWest.”
CBS’s Amanda Balionis also announced her support for the former major winner, tweeting: “Amazing to me that this person feels THIS entitled to say something that wasn’t even a joke and -more importantly- showcases that there is still a very real group of powerful men who think of women as simply things to look at & objectify. Shoot 64? Win a major? Nope, panties.”