Pro Cyclist Tara Gins Says She Lost a Job Because of a Playboy Shoot

The athlete claims a job opportunity as a team manager was rescinded due to her sexy snaps

Woman stands next to her racing bike on a country road.
The cycling world isn't immune to sexist double standards.
Getty Images

A Belgian cyclist says she lost a position she had been promised as a team director due to sexy photos she’d appeared in, including a Playboy photo shoot and a shoot for a Belgian calendar.

“I had a verbal agreement to start working for a team as a sports director this year. A men’s team, where I would work with the young athletes and the elites,” pro cyclist Tara Gins wrote in an Instagram post. “That was something that I was really looking forward to because that is the direction that I want to go in,” she continued, before going on to reveal that the job offer had been rescinded due to her sexy photo shoots. “Those were photos that don’t harm anyone,” said Gins. “Apparently, these are now too inappropriate to work with riders.”

Gins opened up about the incident in an interview with Cycling News, explaining that she was told the job offer was being rescinded in a phone conversation in which it was implied sexy photos of the athlete were to blame.

“He started the conversation by saying that he was breaking off the commitment that we had because someone on the team, a staff member, came across pictures of me. That person sent the pictures in a group chat to the other staff members,” Gins told the outlet, adding that she’s “not 100 percent sure” which photos specifically were the culprit. “In May last year, I did a photoshoot for Playboy and then two months later I did another photoshoot for a calendar for a Belgian company,” she said, adding that neither photo shoot was related to her cycling career in any way, and that in the Playboy shoot she appeared “nude but with some areas covered so it was not vulgar.”

It is obviously worth noting that even if Gins’ photo shoot had been “vulgar,” that still wouldn’t be just grounds on which to destroy her career as an athlete, and this whole ordeal is just yet another example of a pervasive double standard that simultaneously praises and punishes women for showcasing their sexuality.

This double standard hasn’t escaped Gins. “In Belgium, in a men’s race they want flower girls to dress very sexy and that is ok,” the athlete told Cycling News. “But then if someone wants a position in men’s cycling that used to be the sexy girl, like a hostess or a promo girl, or who makes pictures then it’s not ok.”

Obviously, however unfortunately, Gins is far from the first woman in any industry to have her career threatened due to a sexy side hustle. As OnlyFans has ballooned in popularity, many women who have begun selling NSFW content on the platform to make ends meet have found their day jobs at risk after their having their accounts “outed,” while earlier this month, also in Belgium, a psychologist ultimately gave up her license after the Belgian Commission of Psychologists threatened her with a suspension over her “too sexy” Instagram presence.

As Gins’ recent ordeal reveals, the cycling community is no different. “There are so many women who want a position in men’s cycling, or in cycling in general,” Gins told Cycling News. “And they have the capabilities to do it but they don’t advance because of idiotic things like this.”

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