Doug Polk has been hit with an angry backlash on Twitter after describing the latest Sports Illustrated cover model as “obese”, a triggered Veronica Brill leading the outrage.
Rich white men really are experts at everything https://t.co/HLIyrs7CSf
— Veronica Brill (@Angry_Polak) May 17, 2022
Polk’s fat-shaming comments couldn’t have come at a worse time, given the recent public discussion over why there aren’t more women in the game.
Just last week we covered the story of Natalie Hof Ramos almost being raped at EPT Monte Carlo, and her brave revelations were accompanied by a slew of other horror stories women have faced in poker.
Ebony Kenney, for example, revealed that Daniel Negreanu made her feel incredibly uncomfortable with incessant staring.
“2008/09. It’s my 1st $10k! I sit down at Foxwoods & who is directly on my left? None other than @RealKidPoker,” stated Kenney.
“An orbit or two goes around before I realize he’s blatantly staring at me nonstop when he’s not in a hand. I turn to say something to him bc I was uncomfortable.”
“He just says, “Yeah I’m staring,” & never stopped. My stint in this tourney was short lived as I didn’t know how to fold aces. The sting of busting the tournament was overshadowed by the relief I felt of not having someone directly next to me openly gape at me the entire time.”
That’s the recent background to Polk’s tweet, and if he thought it was going to be a throwaway comment, seen today and forgotten tomorrow, he was in for a surprise.
Poker pro and chess master, Jennifer Shahade, brought the recent US abortion debate into the argument.
“Imagine being a man tweeting about a woman you don’t think is hot and trashing her size…when reproductive rights are under threat. What are the connection between these two things? CONTROL.”
Is she your next heads up opponent?
Because this opinion is such trash it must be talk.
(Damn, Yumi is 🔥🔥🔥) https://t.co/2yKPsE5WRj
— Jennifer Shahade (@JenShahade) May 17, 2022
It wasn’t only Veronica Brill and poker’s women who were incensed at Polk, with Matt Berkey sharing some male versions of similar covers, apparently none of which Polk saw fit to point out as being a problem.
Does ESPN suffice? Tbf these editions aren’t as sexualized as SI swimsuit, also fat shaming a man generally comes from other men and is super easy to dismiss given we don’t get held to similar standards. pic.twitter.com/VfyotPOPHK
— Matt Berkey (@berkey11) May 17, 2022
Polk, not exactly known for acknowledging when he has overstepped the mark, seemed intent on doubling down.
But when he changed the goalposts slightly, the “Godmother of UK poker”, Donna Morton, was on hand to catch him out…
So now younare changing the script instead of fat shaming a woman you are now on about heart disease! Sorry but anyone can get heart disease. You don’t have to be fat to get it. Also being fit and healthy doesn’t prevent heart attacks etc.
— Donna Morton (@darkangel709) May 17, 2022
The debate, or argument, will likely rage on, but for the time being we’ll end on a note from Jaime Staples, who famously went from clinically obese to trim and fit as part of a prop bet.
“I think Doug is wrong about this,” wrote Staples, People are talking about a lot of different things in response to his Tweet. I would break down the discussion as: 1. Sports Illustrated Magazine 2. What is healthy 3. What is beautiful 4. What people can have a ‘take’ on My thoughts on #1…”
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