LONDON: A Fox Sports reporter whose post on TikTok poked fun at gender-segregated entrances and security-searches at World Cup venues in Qatar deleted her video after being challenged by an Arab News reporter on Monday.
“I just had to go through a special gate in Qatar for ladies only. Um, I don’t feel that special,” Jenny Taft of Fox Sports said in the video while pulling a sarcastic and smug face.
Arab News reporter Lama Alhamawi took the opportunity to explain to Taft the reason for this and promptly put the American reporter firmly in her place.
“As a fellow reporter, as a fellow journalist that’s years younger than you, that’s traveled to different countries covering various topics around the world, I’m going to give you some advice,” Alhamawi said.
“As journalists, we have a responsibility to uphold. We have a responsibility to do our due diligence to fully understand and investigate a topic before spreading any information, misinformation or biased rhetoric, as you did in this video.
“Now, let’s talk about the special gate you talked about … It’s a matter of one word that perfectly explains the special gate: respect. It’s a matter of respecting someone’s boundaries, their beliefs, their religious beliefs. A woman does not want to be searched by men, a man does not want to be searched by a woman.
“It’s a matter of respecting someone’s religious beliefs and boundaries and making them feel comfortable as they’re entering this country. Now, you hinted at the idea that it was based on discrimination or sexism. But it’s far from that: It’s a level of respect. The best word to describe it is respect.
“Now, judging by the way you conducted your video and executed it, that’s a word that’s foreign to you and something that you maybe don’t quite understand.”
Alhamawi garnered praise and support for calling out the veteran sports journalist.
“Absolutely spot on! I’m sick of seeing ignorant people judge,” one user wrote.
“Thank you Lama, for shedding light on this and for replying to it the best way possible,” said another.
Someone else wrote: “Beautifully said. Thank you for educating everyone with such grace.”
Following Alhamawai’s video and the barrage of supportive comments it attracted, Taft deleted her video.