Donald Trump’s campaign has been reeling from the release of a 2005 video that revealed Trump speaking in lewd and demeaning terms about women with TV personality Billy Bush. In the recording, which was published by The Washington Post on Friday, the Republican candidate bragged he could kiss and grope women without their consent because he was a celebrity.
He said that “when you’re a star, they let you do it. They let you do anything.”
He then adds, “Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
When Trump was pressed about the video during the second presidential debate on Sunday, he said he was “very embarrassed” by his comments, but also labeled it as “locker room talk.”
“This was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologized to my family. I apologized to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”
Although Trump quickly pivoted the discussion to ISIS, many took offense that the GOP nominee dismissed his sexually aggressive comments as locker-room banter. Comments that would be enough to constitute sexual harassment in the workplace.
As Fortune points out, an average worker would be fired for making similar comments:
It includes behaviors like “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, direct or indirect threats or bribes for sexual activity, sexual innuendos and comments, sexually suggestive jokes, unwelcome touching or brushing against a person,” among others. These can be made by a manager, a colleague, or a third party, like a client or customer.
Trump’s comments fall into several of those categories.
The term “locker room talk” quickly gained traction on social media, with several professional athletes criticizing Trump’s comparison.
Jamal Crawford who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers posted on Twitter, “Locker room?”
“I haven’t heard that one in any locker rooms,” Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum wrote in response to Crawford’s statement.
Jacob Tamme, a tight end with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons also took to Twitter saying, “Please stop staying ‘locker room talk.’ ”
Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle shared similar criticism.
Others, such as SEC Network analyst and retired NFL player Anthony “Booger” McFarland questioned the comparison.
Plenty of people outside of the sports industry also shared contempt over Trump’s comments.
The release of the 2005 video led to a fallout of major Republicans who publicly denounced and withdrew their support of the GOP nominee with some calling on Trump to quit the race.
Trump’s vulgar comments caused Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to disinvite him from an appearance they were scheduled to make together this weekend in Wisconsin.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who moderated Sunday’s debate, asked Trump if he ever treated women like he talked about on the tape.
“I have great respect for women,” the real estate mogul said. “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”
Trump denied having touched or kissed women without their consent.