Not even Olympians are immune from sexist assumptions about marriage. On Wednesday, Austrian skier Anna Veith found herself on the receiving end of a questionable suggestion while she was competing in the women's giant slalom event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
According to USA Today, NBC commentator Bode Miller remarked on the effect of Veith's knee injury on her performance before turning his attention to her personal life. "The knee is certainly an issue," said Miller, a former Olympian, as Veith competed. "I want to point out she also got married. And it's historically very challenging to race on World Cup with a family or after being married. Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss that out there, that it could be her husband's fault."
Immediately, viewers took to Twitter to criticize the remarks. Although Miller had kept most of his comment gender neutral, social media users were quick to point out its sexist connotations.
Miller apologized for the commentary on air shortly after. "That was an ill-advised attempt at a joke," he said. "I was an athlete that competed after marriage and I know how beneficial it is. I know the support team you need. I relied on my friends and family. And if you have the luxury of relying on a spouse, I know they are inevitably your biggest supporter. And on Valentine's Day I didn't mean to throw spouses under the bus. Certainly, I'm going to be hearing it from my wife, I know."
Miller followed up his apology with a clarification on Twitter. "To be clear I was not seriously blaming Anna Veith's lack of results on her husband," he said. "It's a changing of priorities that is historically hard, male or female."