GLAAD responded to media coverage of the first several days of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, including the misgendering of Team USA skateboarder Alana Smith.
Smith made Olympic history July 25 as the first out non-binary athlete to represent the United States at the Olympic games, when they participated in the women's skateboarding street event.
Social-media users widely noted that commentators on BBC and NBC misgendered Smith, even after Smith displayed their pronouns, "they/them," in grip tape on their skateboard, as well as on their Twitter profile.
On July 27, NBC Sports issued a statement and apology for the on-air misgendering: "NBC Sports is committed toand understands the importance ofusing correct pronouns for everyone across our platforms. While our commentators used the correct pronouns in our coverage, we streamed an international feed that was not produced by NBCUniversal which misgendered Olympian Alana Smith. We regret this error and apologize to Alana and our viewers."
In a press release, GLAAD Rapid Response Manager Mary Emily O'Hara (they/them) said, "With a record number of out LGBTQ athletes competing in these Games, including the first out non-binary and transgender participants, it's important that journalists follow best practices for LGBTQ coverage.
"The Olympics coverage guide we published with Athlete Ally and Pride House Tokyo contains the most up-to-date terminology and recommendationsbut when reporters and networks slip up, the best thing to do is sincerely apologize, reeducate, and follow best practices moving forward. Out LGBTQ athletes are driving acceptance and progress on the world stage. Journalists have a responsibility to all viewers and readers to cover them accurately and respectfully."