AOC boss’ startling public scolding for Palaszczuk

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been forced into a backflip and will now attend the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, following an awkward exchange with Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates.

After Brisbane was awarded the 2032 Games, Coates publicly insisted that Palaszczuk attend the opening ceremony in Tokyo. Palaszczuk confirmed that she would attend despite a prior assurance that she would not, claiming that she did not want to offend either Japan or the IOC.


Coates was accused of ‘mansplaining’ the situation to the premier.

“You are going to the opening ceremony,” he told Palaszczuk directly at a press conference in Tokyo.

“There will be an opening and a closing ceremony in 2032 and all of you, everyone there, has got to understand the traditional parts of that, what’s involved in an opening ceremony. None of you are staying home and going to be sitting in your room.

“You’ve never been to an opening ceremony. You don’t know the protocols and I think it’s a very important lesson for everyone here – opening ceremonies cost in the order of $75 to $100 million.

“My very strong recommendation is the Premier and the Lord Mayor and the Minister be there and understand it.”

Palaszczuk said that she would follow Coates’ advice. She previously insisted that she must travel to Tokyo to secure votes for the 2032 Games, despite controversy due to ongoing Australian COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions, but claimed that she would basically fly in and out.

“John Coates was laying down the law last night,” she told ABC radio on Thursday after the opening ceremony exchange.

“We are now a part of the IOC family and I will do what John Coates says.”

The exchange, which was punctuated by awkward silences as Coates effectively issued orders to Palaszczuk, was branded “mansplaining” by high-profile ABC journalist Louise Milligan; a leading reporter on women’s issues.

“Is it just me or has mansplaining somehow got even worse lately?” she wrote on Twitter, as a caption to a video of the Coates and Palaszczuk exchange.

Fellow ABC journalist Annabel Crabb wrote: “This is a diamond-perfect instance of a man who believes his own job and priorities and worldview are universal and another person’s failure to adopt them unquestioningly is evidence of stupidity or incomprehension on her part. Amazing to see it performed so publicly.”

Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster wrote: “Top of the medal tally in misogyny.”

Actor and media personality Magda Szubanski wrote: “John Coates behaviour is waaaay past awkward and a loooong way into thuggish.”

Coates is also the vice-president of the Australian Olympic Committee. He has been the AOC boss for 31 years.

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