Open Letter to BT Group CEO on Sexist Abuse of Irish Hero Katie Taylor


Sexist Misogyny Won’t Make Me Switch from Sky to BT – Sorry

Dear Gavin Patterson (Chief Executive of BT Group PLC) & Gareth Tipton (Director of Ethics and Compliance),

I write to you both as prominent & pertinent for the purposes of this communication representatives of one of the largest companies in the world by revenue & thus possessing, I would hope, some concern for the wider public considering your status as a publicly listed enterprise beholden to your shareholders.

Specifically I seek clarification on the following comment made by Mr Andy Ayling (listed as Event Manager at Frank Warren Promotions on his LinkedIn profile although I understand that like several other of the latter’s businesses this one filed for bankruptcy some time ago & officially the going concern (if not according to their own auditors) is now ‘Queensbury Promotions‘ and/or ‘BOXING CHANNEL MEDIA LTD‘) regarding Irish Olympic hero & now pioneer of women’s professional boxing in the British Isles Katie Taylor:

Andy Ayling Katie Taylor

Andy Ayling’s comment regarding Katie Taylor’s historic professional debut.

Are these sentiments shared by your organisation? Are they held by your shareholders – the general public? I find that very difficult to believe – that misogyny of this nakedness & vulgarity is in keeping with your words Mr Tipton, “So what are ethics and compliance? Put simply it’s about The Way We Work and following the rules. It’s about doing the right thing, not just what you can get away with” or am I to take it that the “Compliance as a business enabler” is indeed for external purposes only and that BT Sport as a subsidiary of BT Group PLC preach one thing & practice another?

I realise you are new to the business of boxing & premium subscription television generally but I will point you in the direction of an example of how respect for people – including women – need not be mutually exclusive from massive professional success in the sport. From this weekend’s Irish Independent:

“Hearn also revealed the story behind the striking black and gold kit Taylor wore on her debut, as he ignored he request for a simple outfit and produced an eye-catching outfit featuring a distinctive ‘KT’ logo that appears to be perfect for marketing purposes.
“I said I will pay for her kit because I wanted her to look a million dollars,” added Hearn. “She asked for plain black shorts and I said: ‘How about this!’
“It was a bit of bling. We could market that kit, of course, and I can’t wait to see the interest from brands.
“At the moment, if you are a sportswear brand, you have to be desperate to get on the Katie Taylor train. Completely ground breaking, fantastic image, what a story.
“This is exciting, we have a big TV platform for this show, she will be boxing all over the world. It’s so exciting.””

That gentleman is the respect, consideration & care with which a talented world class athlete – regardless of gender should be treated.

I eagerly await your response and some form of explanation for what is a most revolting and ugly occurrence. If you’d have done your due diligence before signing a contract on the basis of a ‘promised’ David Haye vs. Tony Bellew or Shannon Briggs fight then you’d likely have known Eddie Hearn’s loyalty & respectful behaviour to his fighters (never-mind actual written contracts in his possession) earned SkySports that fight some time ago. I don’t think Tony Bellew would stop laughing for a week at the suggestion he’d appear on a promoter he refers to simply as ‘fish eyes”s show again in this lifetime.

Then again had you done your due diligence you’d have seen this tweet from the same ‘Event Manager’ & effective #2 of the organisation you just hopped into bed with way back in September:

 

 

Andy Ayling

Andy Ayling vulgar sexualization of Olympian Katie Taylor was a shock to no one who has followed his tweets before.

Sincerely,

 

Matt Hamilton

 

PS: Please note that this public communication will be forwarded to a selection of Gender Equality, Women’s Rights & related civil rights organisations. I assure you that any and all responses from your good selves will be similarly forwarded.

Enclosed is a photograph of Eddie Hearn with Katie Taylor – inspiration perhaps for how a man is expected to behave in the company of a lady & an athlete in the 21st century that is sorely needed by some it appears.

Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor & Eddie Hearn.