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Monday, November 30, 2009

You are not a ‘chick’ you are a football player!

I get supremely tired of the paternalistic attitude that our society takes towards women in general and women in sports. I completely believe in equality, yet many persons who claim they want equality between the sexes hide behind the veil of ‘women are the weaker sex and should be protected’.

Only in terms of actual muscle size are women the fairer sex, but beyond direct head to head competition between men and women there is no reason to consider women as weaker than men, and certainly NOT when they are engaged in their own sporting activities.

Elizabeth Lambert is a football player (soccer in America) who went in a word NUTS during a game. She punched an opponent in the back (granted after she took an elbow), did a few dangerous and aggressive tackles, pulled an opponent down so vigorously by the pony tail (let that soak in for a second) that the girl’s head jerked and she fell to the ground as if she had been shot, and she punched another in the face. Any one of those acts could have earned her a red card and suspensions for a few games, (but the refs did not sanction her – seriously the quality of reffing in all sports this year is atrocious -) taken all together, they obtained her an indefinite suspension.

Now there are some saying that the attention paid to her incidents are because she is female. Look I do not doubt that some attention has been paid to her solely because she is a woman, but at the same time I think much of the attention has been paid because she seriously went CRAZY. When have you ever seen a man engage in activity like that and not get vilified? For instance let me place you on a grander stage but with a simpler act: Zidane in the World Cup delivered a head butt to the Italian defender who insulted him and his family, take note it was one blow a head butt, one act - an instant dismissal, and world-wide shame. Elizabeth Lambert did not receive nearly the scorn that was heaped on Zidane yet I should believe that most of this is because she is a woman? And again, I know in terms of importance the scale is different, the World Cup versus NCAA playoffs but the reactions can be compared. If Zidane had not only head butted the Italian but also punched him, done dirty tackles and grabbed a pony tail (and yup in that game there was enough hair for pony tails) we would still be combing through video tape of the incident.

When American Football players pull players down by the face mask and cause injury, it tends to be the lead on ESPN. Even simple locker room fights get coverage. And yet I have never seen a player do as much in a single game as Lambert did in her game. If Chad Ochocinco ever decides to try and remove the front teeth from his opponent’s mouth in the manner in which Lambert attempted to do dentistry on her foe, I am pretty sure his career would be severely impacted for a year.

But, let us take one of the greatest examples of male players going NUTS in recent history: ‘The Malice at the Palace’ or you might know it as Ron Artest running into the stands with half of the Indiana Pacers riding shotgun with him. Artest started a melee and contributed to one of the greatest non-boxer Athlete punches I have ever seen (I would post video of it, but the NBA takes that down immediately as it goes up so the link would be dead by the time you read this anyway) Jermaine O’neal hitting a tubby guy so hard that I felt it in my fillings. I still maintain that because O’neal slipped while swinging that guy is still walking this earth.

Thanks to that incident we now think of Ron Artest as a mad-man, Stephen Jackson as a man completely willing to rearrange your grill and the Indiana Pacers have become a team that many feel has on purpose decided to become the whitest team in the league (man I really hope that is just coincidental and not really related to the malice in the palace because that would really be sad and a bad reflection of prejudice).

So under the Ron-ron parameters I am now obligated to think of Elizabeth Lambert as a completely insane woman, who should not be let back onto a field until she is completely re-evaluated…only fair right? After all, we are all equal.

1 comment:

bath mateus said...

It is a good posting. I like it. It's pretty much impressive.


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Cali-J ueber alles in der Welt. Some think that I am mean; (I call them friends), in fact I am not that mean. What I am is sarcastic and dry to the sandpaper level. I have friends that I have never said a kind word to their face, but I praise to the ends of the earth to anyone I know and will defend them to the end. That’s just how I roll! My boys know that I am down for them, my girls know that no matter what I will keep them safe (and occasionally flirt with them [If you are a female friend of mine and think I haven’t flirted with you it just means you didn’t notice, it was extremely subtle or…not yet ]). No one is safe from my sarcasm even my own parents; hence of course as a kid I spent a significant amount of time in punishment. I treat people with respect if I think they deserve it – everyone starts off with the same amount of respect from me (a lot). You don’t need to earn my respect; you have to keep my respect.