VRT sports journalist suspended from commentating duties after inappropriate remarks

The VRT Sport journalist Eddy Demarez has been issued with a temporary suspension from commentating duties after he was heard making inappropriate and degrading comments about the Belgian women’s basketball team the Belgian Cats. The comments were picked up by a microphone during a Facebook live broadcast featuring the return to Belgium of some of our country’s Olympic medal winners. 

The comments that spoke in denigrating terms about the supposed sexual orientation of members of the basketball team met with shock and condemnation on social media. Several members of the Belgian Cats reacted with disgust as did the management agency that represents a number of the players.  Other athletes and some politicians have also condemned Eddy Demarez’s comments.  

In a statement, bosses here at the VRT said that “This goes completely against the positive policy that we wish to pursue. The VRT will talk to Eddy and in the meantime, he will not provide commentary for any more programmes. Such comments can’t be tolerated”.

Meanwhile, Eddy Demarez has issued an apology to the Belgian Cats “In the euphoria after the returning medal-winners were honoured I made comments well away from the studio that were very wrong. It was never my intent to insult anyone on their basis of their sex or sexual orientation. This is twice as sad as this comment are a blemish on the games that were a great success for Team Belgium and Sporza”.

"I would like to give my sincere apologies to the Belgian Cats and their team and anyone that feels insulted or hurt by them. I have asked the Belgian Cats to be able to offer them my apologies in person. I have learned the necessary lessons from this and will ensure that it doesn’t happen again”, Eddy Demarez wrote. 

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