The Punch From Blount

Im not sure how I came across this old story, but I am glad I did.  LeGarret Blount of the Oregon football team punched a player from the Boise State team in 2009.  Blount is black, and Hout (from Boise) was white.  It is pretty evident that what Hout says is not racist, but just general trash talking after the game.  Hout also touches Blount, as he walks with his head down, before he runs by him and yells in his ear.  Now Hout was dealt with internally by the coaching staff, who knows what his punishment was, if there was any at all.  Blount was suspended for the remainder of his senior season.  I am not condoning Blount’s actions, he did the wrong thing.  But what I want to examine is how he was treated by fans on his way out of the stadium, and how people have responding to the incident.

On his way out of the stadium he is confronted by a large crowd of white Boise State fans, they are all screaming and yelling directly at him.  Its hard to tell what they are saying, but they are definitely jeering and pointing at Blount.  One man follows him as he walks father down and screams something at him.  But there is a point at which one of the fans Blount walks by says something that makes Blount turn back and confront the man.  As Blount does this one man grabs a chair and holds it in front of him as another fan actually hits Blount.  This sets him off as he is then carried out by police officers.  It just feels wrong watching this, especially because the entire crowd surrounding him is white.  The crowd members are holding chairs and slapping him as he nears the stands, and who knows what they actually said to him.  I cannot help but think that the crowds actions were racially charged, its hard not to get that feeling when watching the event unfold.

The second thing I wanted to adress was how Blount’s actions were treated in the blogging community and social media community.  A blogger on the website Bleacher Report wrote an article about questioning whether Hout was also at fault, not particularly on the same level but at fault nonetheless.  The blogger is ripped apart in the comment section.  These are direct quotes from the comment section. “What Blount did is act like a criminal… Nobody deserves to be treated the way Hout was treated. It is inhumane.” Interesting word choice from this commenter.  I doubt that he is even aware of these racially charged comments.  When the author responded saying he thought Blount should be forgiven because of his sincere apology, other comments flooded in proclaiming that Blount should have charged with battery and assaulting a police officer.  Over and over again people comment on how criminal Blount is and how victimized Hout was.  Anytime someone tried to suggest Hout take responsibility for his actions, he is responded to with an angry comment.  On youtube videos i gets even worse.  “No reason to be sorry. There’s a difference between Normal people and N*****s. he’s a N****R. He talked shit, did horrible, then sucker punched someone.” “Hes a n****r he doesnt know better!”  I’m starting to see that some people are better at hiding their racial biases and hate, while others are either unaware or just do a better job at hiding them.

Interesting to see how someone like Hout, who is clearly at fault for his actions is so vehemently defended by the public.  When Blount who is clearly at fault for his actions as well is punished severely, then mocked and ridiculed by fans after the game.

Do you see him fighting any cops? I see him talking back to fans, but I guess this is how the poster saw it…


NFL and its Objectifying of Women

There are 32 teams in the NFL, only 7 teams have realized how NFL Cheerleaders objectify women as sex objects.  Cheerleading at the high school and college level is competitive and requires athletic skills.  NFL cheerleading has developed from the athletic and competitive stage to now what is called the dallas cowgirl model of cheerleading.  Scantily clad women doing suggestive dance moves, basically sex symbols.  Here is a little comparison of what cheerleading used to be, and now what a current NFL cheerleader looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some NFL owners and organizations have recognized this change in the cheerleading landscape and have abandoned their cheerleading programs.  New York Giants co owner John Mara had this to say on why his team will not have cheerleaders, “Philosophically we have always had issues with sending scantily clad women out on the field to entertain our fans..Each team has got to make its own decision on that…Some teams are comfortable with not only having cheerleaders but selling cheerleader swimsuit calendars or in a couple cases lingerie calendars. It’s not something you’re going to see the Giants do. Not while I’m around, anyway.”  His view on this issue is not common, 26 teams still use cheerleaders.

Cheerleading is not the only way that the NFL uses women to add sexual appeal to the game.  In a promotional video for monday night football actress Nicole Sheridan was shown in the mens locker room, wearing only a towel, with wide receiver Terrell Owens.  In order to keep Owens in the locker room she drops her towel.  The NFL hires supermodels to promote games, sing catchy songs, and entertain the males in attendance.  This sexualization of women in professional football has also changed how female journalists and other professional women are treated in the NFL scene.  Female journalist Ines Sainz was catcalled and whistled at when she attended a football practice to interview a player.  The way that women are sexualized in the NFL has created an atmosphere in which women who surround the NFL have lost their professional roles and taken on sexually oriented ones.


The Lingerie Football Question

Is it sexist?

This seems to be the main topic that comes up when you look at Lingerie Football League.  Now if you have never seen one of their games, ill give you a brief rundown.  Athletic, well proportioned females, early 20′s, wearing bikinis and pads.  Sounds kinda ridiculous huh?

Well, initially this seems pretty wrong, but lets analyze a little but.

1. Why bikinis?

I believe the reason the outfits are so scarce is due to marketing.  The sad reality is that woman’s sports get almost no coverage, and mainly because there is very little money to be made in comparison to mens sports.  How many people do you think would rather watch women fully dressed play football over an NFL game?  Probably very few.  It is much easier to market your league when your athletes are wearing bikinis.  This however, does objectify women as sexual objects.

2. These girls play hard.

If you havent seen these women play, well they play hard.  The LFL plays full contact, tackle to the ground football.  They hit each other hard, and play a very rough game.  These women are proving that they are capable of playing a very violent contact sport, and very good at it too.  There is no slacking, these women are competitive and fierce competitors.  Here some footage.

3.  Other sports uniforms

If you look at beach volleyball, boxing, MMA, and swimming uniforms and outfits, they all show a lot of skin.  Its not something unique to the LFL, you dont think that beach volleyball players could wear one piece swimsuits?  In some cases it would be harmful  to the athlete to be wearing more clothes, but athletes wear skin tight clothes and show off skin and muscle.  Its part of sports, athletes bodies are very sexualized.  Men run around in skin tight pants and sleeveless shirts just as much as women play sports in revealing outfits.

I think that Lingerie Football is good for women’s athletics.  How often do you get to see women playing a “mens game” such as football, going full speed and hitting each other.  The game showcases athleticism, speed, skills, and smarts all necessary to play the game of football.  The whole lingerie part of the game is a ploy to attract fans and viewers so that the league can exist and make some money.  The only problem with the lingerie part is the sexualization of these athletes, but this is something common in almost all women’s athletics.  I am not saying that Lingerie Football is justified, but it does allow women to showcase their athletic talents on a greater stage.  The greater problem at hand is the need to sexualize women’s athletics in order to create any type of popularity.


Shake My Head

Good news, the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter has declared that there is no racism in soccer.  This quote was in direct response to the events of recent in which fans and players alike have been heard using racist language towards FIFA’s players.

“I would deny it. There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is effected by that, he should say that this is a game.

“We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination. I think the whole world is aware of the efforts we are making against racism and discrimination.

“And, on the field of play sometimes you say something that is not very correct, but then at the end of the game, the game is over and you have the next game where you can behave better.”

What planet do you live on?


What if?

What if the the Penn State Graduate Assistant walked in on Sandusky with a white child, instead of a black child?  Does it make a difference? I think so.  If Mike McQueary had seen Sandusky doing those acts to a child with blonde hair and blue eyes, he might have been enraged.  McQueary decided that he should leave the child in that situation, and find another way to deal with what he just saw. The fact is that McQueary and Penn State did not view the victim as one of their own.  They did not see that little black child in the same light that they would see their own child, nephew, friends son, or neighbors kid.  I have a hard time believing that I, or anyone could walk in on child molestation and walk away.  But something about what McQueary saw made him hold back from stopping the act.  What if?


Using Sports to Create the Other

This video is a clear attempt at humor, but it fails to be humorous at all.  In fact this video that was aired on Fox Sports is one of the most disgusting things that I have ever watched.

This video is an attempt at humor like I said, but all it does is make the Asian “the other.”  It attempts to do this through the knowledge of sports.  Here are several things about this video that I find the most appalling.

1.  Bob Oshacks’ (the reporter) mocking of the students language and pronunciation.

Clearly these students are not native english speakers.  Oshack constantly is correcting the students english, mocking the way that they say words, and clearly mishearing the words that they say on purpose.  Several times he says, “what I cant understand you,” followed with a laugh.  He puts students in the spotlight and gives them phrases to say, and when they misspeak or mess up he corrects them in a mocking tone.

2.  The Editing

Why is it necessary to show the students mistake and mispronunciations?  They purposely left all these events in the video to show that these students were not “American,” and the other.  I feel as if these segments were left in the video to purposely humiliate the students and their lack of knowledge about the sporting world.

3.  The people at FOX deciding to air this.

How could the people at FOX making this video and coming up with this idea think that this would be well received?  Why  did no one watch this and say, this is very racist and demeaning?  How could such ignorance and hate go unnoticed by the people at FOX?  If this video was meant to focus on American Football, then why does it seem to me like a racial profiling parade.

This video clearly states that to be a true American, one must be white, well spoken, and have a deep knowledge of college football.  Clearly, to the makers of this video these students are truly Americans or Americanized, and thus, not really a part of our society.  They could have interviewed any number of people, white, black, or hispanic, and I guarantee you that many of those students would have responded in the same way these Asian students did.  This video just serves to portray Asians in America as the other, primarily through their lack of knowledge of American Football.  This attempt at humor disgusts me, and served to humiliate the Asian students at USC.


In The End, Sports Are Just Games

As the Jerry Sandusky story unfolds, and many people are sharing their differing postions on the firing of Joe Paterno, I thought I would add my two cents.

This story made me think, I believe its time to take a step back and realize, hey, sports are just a game, a silly kids game.  But thats not the way that most people think when it comes to sports.  Joe Paterno is a legendary head coach, holding numerous records and winning Penn State many games.  When I first saw the news that Paterno had been fired, my initial reaction was wow, how can you fire someone like that, with all that history and recognition that he has achieved?  I know, that sounds ridiculous, but I am a sports fan, I love sports.  Joe Paterno is a household name in the sporting world.  So of course, me the sports worshipping fanatic(also uninformed)was in shock.

But, as I read stories on what happened in the Penn State football program regarding the Sandusky case, I became appalled.  This escalated when I read the Grand Jury report on this matter.  How could a man witness child rape, and not report it to the police?  How could a head coach, the face of the university, not report what he had heard to the police?  How could the school Administration and President do NOTHING when informed of the actions of Coach Sandusky.  Its simple, because he was a coach, of the illustrious football team at Penn State.  The football team at Penn State bring in millions of dollars in revenue, and the schools student body rallies around the football program all year wrong.  In simpler words, football is a big deal at Penn State.

The coaches at Penn State, and all of those involved in this case, made an explicit choice, and sent a powerful message to the world.  Penn State Football was more important then the lives of children, and could not be engulfed in scandal.  This is disgusting to think about.  That a sporting program could possibly be more important to a group of individuals then the lives of young defenseless children.  But this is the current state of sports in America, and it took this event for many people to realize this reality.  Its time we do something about it.  Racism, Sexism, Child Abuse, or any abuse of any person should take precedence over any sporting subject.  The well being of a person is far more important then any sporting event, game, or outcome.  If you ever witness someone or something that is denying the well being of a human being, animal, etcetera, I have one piece of advice.  Speak up!

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

-Edmund Burke


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