For many of us in fashion, the only reason we know who won the Super Bowl (well, perhaps more accurately, who didn’t) is due to the sport’s link to supermodel Gisele Budchen. Married to New England Patriots player Tom Brady, Gisele sent a message to friends before the match asking them to pray for him and his team mates. I know, because it was reported by Vogue.com.

In case you didn’t know, Tom Brady and the NEP’s did not win the game, and when Gisele was trying to get to him afterwards to comfort him, she was being heckled by fans and she exclaimed, “he can’t f*ing throw and catch the ball!” referencing several dropped balls which afflicted the NEP’s performance.

In responce to this, Tom Brady’s team mate Brandon Jacobs said:
 

“She just needs to continue to stay cute and shut up”

Now, I too believe that her comment was tactless and provocative, and even that it might have been better had she not have said it at all – a feeling, I imagine, Gisele herself shares -  but to relate it to her beauty, as if being an attractive women ought to somehow negate that woman’s right to express herself and her opinions (regardless of what they are) is just about the most horribly mysogynistic and degrading thing I can imagine anyone implying.

I would like to now be able to say that after a substantial backlash, on Twitter and from other forums, Jacobs had rescinded  his statement and issued a full and heartfelt apology; but, I cannot.  He has issued an apology, and this is it:

Given the fact that it’s a colleague of mine’s wife, I do apologise for saying that, because I shouldn’t have said that,” Jacobs said on ESPN’s The Doug Gottlieb Show yesterday. ”It’s his wife and I should respect that just as much as anyone else.

- As reported on Vogue.com

So he’s apologised for what he said, but not because he recognises that what he said was wrong, mysogynistic and offensive, but because she happens to be married to his team mate.  So really, he has demonstrated absolutely no respect for Gisele herself, but only indirectly due to his respect for her husband. As if the only respect she deserves is transfered to her through her marriage, not as woman, a human being, in her own right.  In my opinion, that is no valid kind of apology at all.

How will this develop? Will everyone just want the whole sorry affair to go away? Or will someone, perhaps Gisele herself, expose this phony placation? And risk further ignominy at the hands of her husband’s colleagues?  She’d be a brave woman. Stupid, some might conclude; presumably thinking, after what she said, that she should keep her head down.  But if this is where the issue ends, then I think the affair has been a sad loss for equality and the respect due to every human being.

I think, even if this issue passes by the wayside this time, there is still something we all can do to reclaim the values we hold dear. It’s simple: talk about it. Discuss it with your friends, you parents, your colleagues. Make sure that even if this wrong goes uncorrected in the public sphere of celebrities, lets make sure that its lessons are learnt, by us, at least. It may seem like it’s not a lot to be able to do, but it is what we can do. And, holding these values close to our hearts, it’s something that perhaps we should do, to know that we, in our individual circles, have said:

“No! I will not stand by and let this go unnoticed. I will be aware, and in my awareness I will be empowered, for myself, for women and for all human beings.”

Small steps. Big ideas.  That is the All Walks’ vison for a better future.

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Words by Charlotte Gush
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Charlotte Gush is a freelance fashion writer, blogger and editor based in Manchester, as well as the Online Commissioning Editor for All Walks.She has previously spent 6 months working for All Walks at the London office as a social media, marketing and production intern.Charlotte writes a fashion, street style and personal style blog, CAVACOMA.com, with a dedicated Facebook fanpage here, and a Twitter account @CavaCharlotte