The Patrick Lefevere Depreciation Thread

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I don't think so. I mean women's football gets supported in many countries really hard, like in Germany, where every bigger tournament gets shown. Every league game is at least on ES player. Every club has women's teams. In schools football for girls gets encouraged, there are special training camps for girls during the holidays and so on... the public broadcaster and media make a big :dango::beercheers::lollipop: from the main events... and it does grow, it does find its viewers and players. But it's nowhere, absolutely nowhere, when compared to men's football. I saw it at my son's primary school where almost every boy played football, and almost none of the girls - but the cheerleader team, full of girls, couldn't take more members, they were full.
And even if girls want to play, more and more do, the viewers are not really there... they will watch a match of the national team, because, women or men, it's still Germany, and they identify with Germany. But there are very, very few people who regularly watch women's club football.

I'm not advocating it should be so, absolutely not. To me, the main problem remains something that I found so shocking about readers: Girls read books with male main characters and are okay with it. Boys want books with male protagonists. And fact: sports viewers are overwhelmingly men, unless it's a big partylike event, then more women are watching. They obviously identify better with men.

Another important aspect: in the families it's still mostly men who do sports. One of the first questions whenever my son meets a new adult is "and which sport do you do?" I don't think it's totally the same for girls. And while men usually continue their (often on a low level competitive sport) when they have a family, the only sport that women often do then is fitness and jogging - to keep fit, to have a nice figure and to get away from the stress of the family, to do something for themselves, so they don't take the kids with them when they do it - unlike the men, who often take at least their sons, (more and more often their girls, too) with them. (It's different if the mothers are very sportive and competitive themselves, but often they simply aren't.) So the children see: men: sports, women: only fitness.
So, most of this aspect is anecdotal, but I still think it would be confirmed statistically. Women do less sport competitively. There are nonetheless enough girls who (often grown up in very sportive families) do sport competitions, but the other consequence is that they are less inclined to watch pro sport because they don't have a connection.

So, overall, what I want to say, basically: It's not that easy. Women's sport is growing, but just because you have a major event for them and it gets shown on tv, that doesn't mean it does have a huge amount of viewers. And while women's pro sport grows, among the young less people watch pro sports in general regularly...

I think a lot should be done to make it easier for women who want a sportive career to make that possible. They should be encouraged. In cycling for instance a strong U23 class and more races for instance would help. Money support for 16-22 year olds who are on the edge of deciding what to do would help. You can still start your studies at age 22 and be successful, I don't think the lessons you learn in competitive sport at the time are wasted. Those are the things I would think about; support the ones who are on the edge, and at a younger age: the ones who are curious but don't really dare because they think it's a boy thing. Make the races more demanding and don't treat the girls and women like "that's not for you anyway, you aren't strong enough".
But forcing gender equality from above when there is no real request for it (for now at least), is not the right way I think.
Hopefully there are still enough teams and people who are interested in forming good women's teams, hopefully with female DSs and CEOs as well, and hopefully women's cycling will grow and get better.
I kind of agree with most of what you wrote though as you said, your evidence is anecdotal and sometimes you are a little bit on a thin ice with your cheerleaders observations;)

I do not, however, believe that general lack of interest of women for watching sports (or doing sports) is the reason for the gap we have in cycling. Take a look at some other sports: tennis, alpine skiing, volleyball. These sports do not have any particular properties that would make them stand out as "more suitable for women" yet they are very popular - maybe not completely equal to mens' editions yet, but the ratio in popularity is much more equal than in cycling.

It would be interesting to study what made the above mentioned sports more equally distributed between men and women and if there are any lessons learned that could be applied to cycling...
 
It would be interesting to study what made the above mentioned sports more equally distributed between men and women and if there are any lessons learned that could be applied to cycling...
It‘s the Olympics. There are two categories of sports where the women’s side gets at least close to the attention that the men’s side gets: (1) sports where the main event is the Olympics, (2) tennis.

That said, while women athletes get a pretty raw deal across the major spectator sports (apart from tennis), the degree to which they are marginalised varies considerably. And road cycling is particularly bad.

(Actually, now that I think of it, a question for the cross enthusiasts: is cyclocross another exception? The top male riders are much better known to me, but thats because of their road careers. Within cx do the women get (something close to) equal billing?)
 
I kind of agree with most of what you wrote though as you said, your evidence is anecdotal and sometimes you are a little bit on a thin ice with your cheerleaders observations;)

I do not, however, believe that general lack of interest of women for watching sports (or doing sports) is the reason for the gap we have in cycling. Take a look at some other sports: tennis, alpine skiing, volleyball. These sports do not have any particular properties that would make them stand out as "more suitable for women" yet they are very popular - maybe not completely equal to mens' editions yet, but the ratio in popularity is much more equal than in cycling.

It would be interesting to study what made the above mentioned sports more equally distributed between men and women and if there are any lessons learned that could be applied to cycling...
(The cheerleading/ football thing caused some dismay in myself, it's probably different from region to region and school to school, but I was like "what year is it?")

I don't know anything about volleyball, but I'm quite sure that in the cases of skiing and especially tennis it's because they have always been among the few sports that were considered totally acceptable for women too. Tennis was even played mixed I think about 150 years ago. Noble women did these sports at the beginning of the last century. I think it wasn't considered something dirty, sweaty, tough in the sense like football or cycling races, but more a fun way to spend you leisure time and meet with other people of your ranks.
 
(The cheerleading/ football thing caused some dismay in myself, it's probably different from region to region and school to school, but I was like "what year is it?")

I don't know anything about volleyball, but I'm quite sure that in the cases of skiing and especially tennis it's because they have always been among the few sports that were considered totally acceptable for women too. Tennis was even played mixed I think about 150 years ago. Noble women did these sports at the beginning of the last century. I think it wasn't considered something dirty, sweaty, tough in the sense like football or cycling races, but more a fun way to spend you leisure time and meet with other people of your ranks.
I'm thinking of women's tennis at Wimbledon as an example of a female professional sport being virtually as attractive to a wide viewership as the men's tournament, and the prize money being the same for both sexes is reflective of this. Doubtless you are correct about historically female tennis being viewed as equally socially acceptable as male tennis, which translates into a long tradition of high interest in viewing female matches. But it's not the same for cycling, a sport historically rooted in a group of European countries that's rather traditionally been viewed as a brutallity for the "hard men" of working class and peasant backgrounds. To be sure, women have carved out their place in cycling, but that has not translated into the same high level of viewership interest that female tennis enjoys. There simply haven't been the historical conditions for this. The wide gap in economic compensation is interrelated and proportional to the differences in revenues generated between male and female cycling. Those crying scandal over this simply lack perspective. For it to change numbers wise people will need to start watching say the women's Paris-Roubaix race as much as the men's or the female Giro as much as the men's. But this is a long-term process, not something that can transpire overnight. For you can't impose interest any more than matter's of taste (de gustibus non disputandum est ). With time, who knows? Further sponsorship and airtime are certainly worthy initiatives. But it's not going take a long time.

Then there is the uncomfortable truth that most people following sport on TV and in the stadiums are men and secondly are mainly interested in watching (both women and men) male events. Alterations in this standard change, as has been noted, depending on the sport.
 
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I don't think so. I mean women's football gets supported in many countries really hard, like in Germany, where every bigger tournament gets shown. Every league game is at least on ES player. Every club has women's teams. In schools football for girls gets encouraged, there are special training camps for girls during the holidays and so on... the public broadcaster and media make a big :dango::beercheers::lollipop: from the main events... and it does grow, it does find its viewers and players. But it's nowhere, absolutely nowhere, when compared to men's football. I saw it at my son's primary school where almost every boy played football, and almost none of the girls - but the cheerleader team, full of girls, couldn't take more members, they were full.
And even if girls want to play, more and more do, the viewers are not really there... they will watch a match of the national team, because, women or men, it's still Germany, and they identify with Germany. But there are very, very few people who regularly watch women's club football.

I'm not advocating it should be so, absolutely not. To me, the main problem remains something that I found so shocking about readers: Girls read books with male main characters and are okay with it. Boys want books with male protagonists. And fact: sports viewers are overwhelmingly men, unless it's a big partylike event, then more women are watching. They obviously identify better with men.

Another important aspect: in the families it's still mostly men who do sports. One of the first questions whenever my son meets a new adult is "and which sport do you do?" I don't think it's totally the same for girls. And while men usually continue their (often on a low level competitive sport) when they have a family, the only sport that women often do then is fitness and jogging - to keep fit, to have a nice figure and to get away from the stress of the family, to do something for themselves, so they don't take the kids with them when they do it - unlike the men, who often take at least their sons, (more and more often their girls, too) with them. (It's different if the mothers are very sportive and competitive themselves, but often they simply aren't.) So the children see: men: sports, women: only fitness.
So, most of this aspect is anecdotal, but I still think it would be confirmed statistically. Women do less sport competitively. There are nonetheless enough girls who (often grown up in very sportive families) do sport competitions, but the other consequence is that they are less inclined to watch pro sport because they don't have a connection.

So, overall, what I want to say, basically: It's not that easy. Women's sport is growing, but just because you have a major event for them and it gets shown on tv, that doesn't mean it does have a huge amount of viewers. And while women's pro sport grows, among the young less people watch pro sports in general regularly...

I think a lot should be done to make it easier for women who want a sportive career to make that possible. They should be encouraged. In cycling for instance a strong U23 class and more races for instance would help. Money support for 16-22 year olds who are on the edge of deciding what to do would help. You can still start your studies at age 22 and be successful, I don't think the lessons you learn in competitive sport at the time are wasted. Those are the things I would think about; support the ones who are on the edge, and at a younger age: the ones who are curious but don't really dare because they think it's a boy thing. Make the races more demanding and don't treat the girls and women like "that's not for you anyway, you aren't strong enough".
But forcing gender equality from above when there is no real request for it (for now at least), is not the right way I think.
Hopefully there are still enough teams and people who are interested in forming good women's teams, hopefully with female DSs and CEOs as well, and hopefully women's cycling will grow and get better.
My own personal experience supports this. (Yes more antidotal). Growing up I was an athlete and played soccer, softball, volleyball, and basketball competitively at different points. My dad is the one who took me to ball games, auto races, whatever. My mom and sisters had no interest. In college we had intramural sports. The group of friends and classmates in the field I was getting my degree in decided to join the intramural softball league. There were (if I remember correctly) 8 teams. There were a total of 3 girls total for 8 teams. When we (friends in college) decided to go to the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB) home opener there were 12 of us going and I was the only girl. I watch men's sports. I rarely watch women's sports because the skill level the competition level in general just for me isn't good enough. My absolute favorite sport is ice hockey. I've listened to Jr League games out of Canada on the radio having no clue who the kids playing are. I'll watch college and minor league hockey games. Now Olympic hockey I won't watch the good teams playing the poor teams men or women's because it's just not good hockey. Auto racing is one of the few sports in which women compete against men. There have been a few successful women over the years. Janet Gutherie was the pioneer. Most have raced in IMSA including a couple who are currently racing in IMSA.
 
My own personal experience supports this. (Yes more antidotal). Growing up I was an athlete and played soccer, softball, volleyball, and basketball competitively at different points. My dad is the one who took me to ball games, auto races, whatever. My mom and sisters had no interest. In college we had intramural sports. The group of friends and classmates in the field I was getting my degree in decided to join the intramural softball league. There were (if I remember correctly) 8 teams. There were a total of 3 girls total for 8 teams. When we (friends in college) decided to go to the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB) home opener there were 12 of us going and I was the only girl. I watch men's sports. I rarely watch women's sports because the skill level the competition level in general just for me isn't good enough. My absolute favorite sport is ice hockey. I've listened to Jr League games out of Canada on the radio having no clue who the kids playing are. I'll watch college and minor league hockey games. Now Olympic hockey I won't watch the good teams playing the poor teams men or women's because it's just not good hockey. Auto racing is one of the few sports in which women compete against men. There have been a few successful women over the years. Janet Gutherie was the pioneer. Most have raced in IMSA including a couple who are currently racing in IMSA.
Antidotal?
 
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‘I think he deserves to have a good season and not to end like Mr Nobody,’ Lefevere said at the start of the year. ‘With his palmarès, his charisma, he deserves a place in the team.’

And he got rewarded for his small investment despite his cheek.
 
Time to change the topic title in: “the ultimate guidebook to understand Don Patrick
Any interesting comments from the legend regarding recent WC debacle or Remco & Joao being Roglstomped?
He said in the press they should race and leave it behind, and talk about it behind the scenes before the new season starts.
Remco said he had whatsapp conversation with van Aert, and said they would have a meeting in a cafe in the off-season to talk about it.
 
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There is no disputing that Lefevere is a self-righteous areshole. He is cycling's equivalent to Don Cherry (hockey fans will get the reference); only difference is PL wields control, unlike the formerly mentioned DC.
The guy is an unrepentant dinosaur who refuses to keep up with the times, never mind acknowledging them.
That said, I get a kick out of him. He is far from stupid, and his eff-you to others is kind of funny at times. Who wouldn't want to say exactly what's on their mind without fear of reprimand?
Point being is I don't take him seriously.
The guy is not a nice person.
 
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The problem is not what he said But how he said it. Making cycling teams owners invest into women teams smells of dictatorship to me and many teams may not be interested into doing it - they may even disband their existing teams altogether if it proves too much of a burden for them. This sort of thing must either grow organically or be assisted financially by the UCI. We can’t just demand of team owners to invest and expand. I totally support PL in that.

However - there’s zero reason to be dismissive or patronising while expressing his concerns. He is after all a public person and with that comes a certain degree of responsibility to conduct himself in an appropriate manner. This controversy is the manifestation of that responsibility…
OK therefore in short the way he said it is problematic and not the content itself.
 
Any interesting comments from the legend regarding recent WC debacle
I don't know if this qualifies as interesting, but Lefevere said that Evenepoel was working for Alaphilippe in a response to a question from a journo.

It was sarcasm, though, and an implied critique of the the way Evenepoel was used by the Belgian team, but he delivered it an a deadpan fashion. And stood by it when questioned. I thought it was pretty amusing.
 
OK therefore in short the way he said it is problematic and not the content itself.
If that makes it easier to understand my point, then yes.

However - the content of what you are saying is integrated in the way you are saying it. So in this case, trying to separate the two was purely for purposes of a discussion. In reality, when someone says what Lefevere said, it’s completely ok to just reject the message in its entirety because it does not deserve to be dissected and cherry picked in order to extract some meaning…
 

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