Cam Newton’s laughter, I heard it all too well. Nope, I wasn’t at the presser in Carolina. I don’t even cover the NFL. But when he laughed at the Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigue’s question on “routes,” it reminded me of the number of times I was disrespected by men in sports. I’ve been winked at by a coach, stared at in lockerrooms and one time bumped in the shoulder when a certain NFLer walked past me when there was more than enough space for him to walk around me. And each time something like that happened I always thought “If I were a man, then they wouldn’t have (fill in the blank.”
ESPN’s Linda Cohn put it best: “Women have to fight for credibility.” You have to be better than good in the world of sports. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been a sports fan my entire life (especially of Chicago sports). I’ve been loving the Bears since birth, celebrated every Bulls championship in the ‘90s, cried when the White Sox won it all in ’05 and was even low-key congratulatory when the Cubbies did it last year. And, good luck to them this year. But I know no matter how much I love a sport, played a sport (lacrosse in high school and college) or covered a sport, I’ll never be taken as seriously as a man.
I’ve heard some male sports journalists say “Just deal with it.” And for the most part we women do. Most of the time we don’t have a choice. We take the winking and the staring and the laughter. But every now and again you don’t want to “just deal with it.” You want an apology. And as late as Newton’s was, it was appreciated.
So, I thank you Cam for the apology. I hope other men will follow your lead. And Jourdan… you did good girl. Thanks for taking one for the team.
Tea recommendation: Lady Grey tea … for all Doris Burkeses, Jackie MacMullenes and Claire Smithes grinding it out among the men everyday.
Is anyone else tired of all the Deflategate noise! It’s everywhere! It’s all over the newspapers. It’s on the radio, on TV, on street corners and on the T. And when the NFL punished Patriots QB Tom Brady on Monday, the news nearly broke Twitter! In January I was “ahhhhh-ing” because I was just tired of the wall-to-wall coverage of Deflategate. It was repetitive and annoying like the New England snow. But when the official punishments were announced on Monday my “ahhhhh-ing” grew from 5 “h’s” to 15 “h’s.” And this time I was upset at the actual punishment.
Sir Thomas More said it best:
“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.” ~Sir Thomas More, Utopia
Sir Thomas More wrote this nearly 500 years ago and it’s just as evident today as it was back then. If you strategically place a group of people in low-income areas and for generations provide them with the worst resources, from dilapidated school buildings to grocery stores stocked with expired GMO’d foods, then what else is to be expected that they become a product of their environment … and get a little mad too.
Baltimore is mad. Just take a look at the NYT’s ‘Thousands of Freddie Grays’. What an accurate depiction of what’s going on. Looking past the violence, rioting and looting, the heart of Charm’s City’s situation is anger. They want better. Better foods, better resources, better quality of living. Rioting is NOT the answer but as Dr. Martin Luther King said “A riot is the language of the unheard.” And NO ONE likes being unheard.
Just the other day I was minding my own business, perusing the Twittersphere when I came across a tweet from the @Atlantic that simply blew my mind: Good Samaritans getting fined thousands of dollars for spreading love.
The tweet actually read “The Liberty to Feed the Poor,” which was the name of the story in the Atlantic. Author Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) wrote a compelling story of people getting fined by local governments for feeding the homeless and illustrated this phenomena through San Antonio chef Joan Cheevers. By day she served celebrities, hot shots and big wigs. And at night she fed the homeless men and women of San Antonio the same culinary delights. She did this on her own volition. And what was the city’s reward for her spreading love?! A $2,000 citation.