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Tue Sep 3, 2013, 07:03 PM

If you don't like sports, you're gay!

So say more than a few people. Forget the gay angle. I'm simply repeating what a lot of people say about those of us guys (mostly straight, by the way) who have no interest in sports.

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about:
http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=552379

And now I'm going to engage in a shameful act ; namely, quoting from my previous DU post (which was submitted in another topic in another board). . . .


Look at these guys.


[img][/img]


[img][/img]

They're both gay. surprise, surprise





They're not the only ones.

I'll probably end up regretting that I ever posted this, but who cares? I'm an oddball, anyway.

38 replies, 13790 views

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Reply If you don't like sports, you're gay! (Original post)
radicalliberal Sep 2013 OP
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Sep 2013 #1
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #3
Warren DeMontague Sep 2013 #2
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #4
Warren DeMontague Sep 2013 #5
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #7
LeftofObama Sep 2013 #6
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #13
Upton Sep 2013 #8
Warren DeMontague Sep 2013 #9
Upton Sep 2013 #10
Warren DeMontague Sep 2013 #11
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #12
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #15
Broken_Hero Sep 2013 #16
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #18
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Sep 2013 #19
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #21
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Sep 2013 #23
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #24
radicalliberal Oct 2013 #26
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Oct 2013 #28
radicalliberal Oct 2013 #29
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Oct 2013 #30
Broken_Hero Sep 2013 #20
radicalliberal Sep 2013 #22
RiffRandell Sep 2013 #14
Warren DeMontague Sep 2013 #17
Katashi_itto Sep 2013 #25
Levon Oct 2013 #27
lumberjack_jeff Oct 2013 #31
radicalliberal Oct 2013 #32
Revanchist Oct 2013 #33
radicalliberal Oct 2013 #34
radicalliberal Jan 2014 #35
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jan 2014 #36
JVS Jan 2014 #37
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #38

Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 11:17 PM

1. I dunno, most of the people in that thread you posted seem to say....

...."yeah, I know a guy who doesn't like sports....he's not gay". Didn't have time to go thru the whole thing.

I have a gay friend who likes sports. Although he doesn't know shit when he tries to argue hockey with me and I tell him so.

Darren Young, the WWE wrestler, just came out.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 11:45 PM

3. You may be right.

Perhaps I fixated on the posts that engaged in stereotyping and overlooked the others.

I live in Texas. I guess we're not much of a hockey state.

I had heard about Darren Young coming out.

Speaking from the standpoint of a 63-year-old straight guy: I remember the demeaning stereotypes gays were subjected to. I had a gay friend who was one of the nicest, most principled persons I've ever known. He ended up becoming a casualty of the AIDS epidemic.

I want to apologize publicly for railing at you earlier this year in the Steubenville topic. I wasn't in the best frame of mind and was quite agitated by the injustice of it all; so, I either should have exercised self-control or not post at all.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 11:39 PM

2. people who actually give a shit about anyone being gay or not

are not the sort of people for whom I give even 1/10th of a shit what they think.

For the record, no, I'm not into any sports that, basically, don't involve a Frisbee.

And I'm actually pretty damn athletic, but I could give a fuck for professional sports.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:07 AM

4. Perhaps I'm a bit thin-skinned.

I didn't begin to understand my teenage years until just a few years ago, specifically what was going on in my life as I drifted along listlessly. I was withdrawn and depressed.

I must have been born without a sports fan gene. What's hilarious is that by the time I was a high-school freshman, I actually felt ashamed for not participating in something (sports, that is) that I wasn't even interested in.

At the same time, I apparently suffered a form of psychological deprivation for not being physically active. (I should have been raised on a farm instead of in an affluent suburb! ) When I started working with a personal trainer at a local health club on a bodybuilding program, I felt as if I had found a piece of my life that had been missing for decades. Bodybuilding is a great way to build self-confidence in sedentary boys who have no interest in sports. I would have benefited from it greatly when I was young.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:14 AM

5. don't get me wrong- I get it. I caught a lot of that crap when I was younger, no question.

Smart, nerdy, wore glasses until I discovered contact lenses, that kind of thing.. and certainly not athletic, not back then. Plus I was an Atheist and outspoken about a lot of shit that people were not supposed to speak up on. I got all the slurs and crap, and I was certainly not immune to it making me feel bad.

My attitude of not giving a flying fuck what 99.999% of people think took a long time to care and nurture before it fully bloomed to the magnificent flower it is today. Now I deal with it with my kids, who will invariably run into many (but hopefully not all) of the same stripes of bullshit as I did.

I just look at these attitudes -like, "hurr durr, yuh don't like teh sports hurr" as just being indications of a not terribly developed, inquisitive, or intelligent psyche. (Which is NOT the same thing as saying that's what an interest in sports indicates- a lot of cool, funny, smart people DO like sports, and more power to 'em)

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:00 AM

7. Remaining true to one's own convictions and not being distressed by what others think . . .

Last edited Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:44 AM - Edit history (2)

. . . is a valuable trait for kids (and adults) to possess. Developing self-confidence goes hand in hand with that trait. If a kid is burdened with a sense of inferiority, he will have a difficult time not worrying about what others think.

My religious views are not the same as yours, but that doesn't matter in the realm of interpersonal relationships. At least it shouldn't. I don't go around thinking I'm superior to those who don't happen to share my beliefs. I've made plenty of mistakes in my own life; so, why should I look down on others for simply disagreeing with me? In fact, there are perfectly understandable reasons why they believe what they believe. That's where empathy comes in. I can disagree with the beliefs of some people and still treat them the way I'd want them to treat me. I also recognize that someone whose religious views differ from my own may have strengths that are far greater than mine. Dr. Sakharov, who (unless I'm mistaken) was an atheist, is a hero of mine. I never could have done what he did. I probably would have been content to remain silent and not antagonize the authorities serving a totalitarian regime. He was quite an honorable man.

As far as more power to cool, funny, smart people who like sports, they get all the power they want and then some. We live in a society that is dominated by the culture of school sports. I have no problem with decent fans. But I do have a problem with fans who don't believe that individual school athletes should be held accountable for the way they treat others away from the game. A good example is Steubenville, where a cover-up was well under way and would have succeeded had it not been for Anonymous. I was stunned that there was even a guilty verdict at the trial. I could give more examples, but this post is going to be too long as it is. Of course, the rapists among school athletes are a relative few; but they're often able to get away with it. I've also wondered how many high-school football coaches are morally opposed to any of their players bullying other students at their schools. Machismo has no problem with bullying. In fact, it promotes it.

I get sick and tired of the insinuation that boys who chose to not participate in sports miss out on a great deal and are somehow deficient. Whatever became of respecting the preferences of others? (Well, in this case, it was never there!) Because the popular culture of our society is virtually saturated with sports, boys who have no interest in sports are likely to be marginalized (sometimes by their own parents!) and even bullied. Who speaks up for those kids? Next to no one!

And what has mandatory phys ed always been about, historically speaking? Yes, today there are some decent P.E. programs around such as PE4LIfe, which I happen to support; but the old P.E. is still around in some school districts. There are still boys' P.E. coaches who demand that all boys participate in team sports -- including those who are physically weak or scrawny, those who are fat, and those who simply have no interest in sports. Precisely those who are likely to be bullied. In fact, historically speaking, P.E. has been a bully's paradise; but how many of the coaches have ever been opposed to the bullying that goes on? Honestly, I have to laugh whenever I hear talk that sports are socially inclusive. Just take a look at traditional mandatory P.E. classes and see the way nonathletic boys are treated. It doesn't look very inclusive to me, to put it mildly. Even some DU members (who happen to be sports fans, by the way) support the "old P.E." while showing no interest in innovative reforms. They have no problem with this sort of bullying. To the contrary, they seem to endorse it.

I've not been dwelling on my childhood ever since I last had to set foot in a school gym. The issue was actually at the back of my mind for decades until my first physical trainer at the local health club inadvertently showed me that the P.E. coaches had provided no instruction whatsoever as to how to throw a football or a baseball, how to toss a basketball, etc., etc. So, for example, if a boy didn't know how to throw a baseball properly (which, after all, is a skill, not a natural ability) because he was never taught how, he was still said to "throw like a girl," with the insinuation that he was one of them homos. (By the way, you wouldn't believe the radical difference between my boyhood mandatory P.E. experience and my currently ongoing very positive health club experience. Completely different social dynamics. Most physical educators should hang their heads in shame!) My older daughter had a calculus teacher like that during her senior year in high school. She actually did no teaching in the class, but expected the students to teach themselves! Fortunately, my wife (the mother of our daughter) had taught high-school math classes, including calculus, for about ten years; so, she was able to fill in for the "teacher," who was FIRED at the end of the academic year for not doing the job she was supposed to do. That is precisely the way mandatory P.E. was "taught." But mandatory P.E. was different somehow; so, this nonsense was overlooked and tolerated. The coaches had no use or sympathy for the nonathletic boys, anyway. They viewed these boys with contempt or indifference. At least this was my personal experience. But I've heard the same sad story from other nonathletic guys over the years.

The only justification for a mandatory P.E. class is to encourage students to be physically active and to become physically fit. The traditional approach to mandatory P.E. fails completely with regard to the students who are the most in need. Did I get any exercise in my P.E. classes? Are you kidding? No, I didn't! (I get more exercise in a single workout session with my personal trainer than I ever did in an entire year of mandatory sports-exclusive boys' P.E.) The great tragedy about traditional mandatory P.E. is that sedentary boys could have been helped a great deal. As a man now in his early 60s, I've gained more self-confidence since I took up bodybuilding. I would have benefited greatly from this self-confidence when I was a teenager. Bodybuilding and other exercise programs, as opposed to mandatory sports, could have been a great blessing to sedentary boys. But the sports culture didn't care about them. At best the nonathletes were the nonpersons in their world. Having a winning football or basketball team was far more important. The nonathletes were just losers, nerds, geeks, wimps, sissies, fags, "feminized males," etc, etc., and were undeserving of any consideration. All that the sedentary boys ever learned was that supposed physical exercise was associated exclusively with team sports and that an intolerant form of machismo was very much a part of the culture. Well, a guy can develop his physique or attain high levels of physical fitness without participating in a sport. In fact, a demanding exercise program is far more efficient! Whenever I hear people blather about how much we need mandatory P.E. but offer no support for programs that actually help the nonathletic kids, I sneer with derision. (Again, many of these very same people have absolutely no problem with bullying in the schools. In fact, they condone it!)

Again, I have no problem with sports fans, as long as they don't impose their preference upon others. The problem is that more than a few of them don't respect those who happen to not share their preference. You may not believe this, but I have never looked down on any guy for participating in a sport. But respect is a two-way street.


My mother once told my best friend's mother that sometimes I talked too much.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:33 AM

6. As a runner AND a gay man, I'll just say this...

I despise watching sports of any kind including running. What does it benefit me who wins what sporting event if I'm not participating? That being said, I have run 9 races so far this season and I have won medals 6 out of 9 times. 1 bronze, 4 silver, 1 gold. I'll be running 3 more races before the season ends here.


I would challenge any of these armchair athletes who say if you don't like sports, you're gay to come on over and lets have a race. Just to make it easier on them let's just run to the end of the block. If they beat me they can make any derogatory slur they feel like making. If I win, and I probably will, they keep their yap shut!

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:25 PM

13. Please forgive me for not writing a longer post. I'm all pooped out from writing the last one.

. . . I have run 9 races so far this season and I have won medals 6 out of 9 times. 1 bronze, 4 silver, 1 gold. I'll be running 3 more races before the season ends here.


Congratulations! That's really great!

I would challenge any of these armchair athletes who say if you don't like sports, you're gay to come on over and lets have a race. Just to make it easier on them let's just run to the end of the block. If they beat me they can make any derogatory slur they feel like making. If I win, and I probably will, they keep their yap shut!


Yeah, I'd love to see that!

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:51 AM

8. It works both ways..

for those of us who like sports, we get to put up with the holier than thou, nose stuck firmly in the air types who think watching sports is beneath them and a sign of the degradation of society or something...

As a heterosexual, I don't know whether being gay makes one predisposed to disliking sports anyway. Sounds rather unlikely...and it hasn't been my experience .

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Response to Upton (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:08 AM

9. I'm not big on being a spectator vis a vis professional sports, I admit it.

I had a brief period in the early 90s where my hanging out in Bars with (what were then known as) Big-Screen TVs coincided with a particularly impressive several years of playing by the Chicago Bulls--- during that time, I admit, I was paying some attn. to Basketball.

But other than that, it's never held much appeal for me.

Still, I do not in any way consider myself "superior" to those who like it.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 01:04 PM

10. I hate to break it to you..

but if your posts are any indication, you're far too tolerant and understanding of other people's choices to be the kind of person I was referring to...you'll just have to try harder.

Oh, and I remember those days in the early 90's. I actually somewhat foolishly thought the Blazers could get it done when they faced the Bulls in the finals..I used to hate Chicago and Jordan. For he should have been playing in Portland...and now history has gone and repeated itself with Kevin Durant.

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Response to Upton (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:18 PM

11. Honestly, that particular period with the Bulls was something else.

Like I said, It's never been a big preoccupation of mine... but there was a level of, dare I say, artistry to Jordan's playing during those years that made it kind of magical to behold. Kind of like watching Bill Clinton at politics. You realize you're seeing a genuine one-of-a-kind phenomenon.

And thanks for the kind words. Right back at ya.

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Response to Upton (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:16 PM

12. I'm in basic agreement with you.

Last edited Thu Sep 5, 2013, 06:53 AM - Edit history (3)

We all have our own preferences. Each guy should respect the other's preference.

for those of us who like sports, we get to put up with the holier than thou, nose stuck firmly in the air types who think watching sports is beneath them and a sign of the degradation of society or something...


I have never had this bad attitude in my life. I've never felt superior to any school athlete I ever encountered as I was growing up. Not even the jerks. Sports have always been a part of the mosaic of human expression. (How do you like that for a trite statement?) They will always be around, just like the fine arts. I respect the effort and self-discipline that is involved in developing athletic skill, which to me is comparable to all the dedication that is necessary for one to become a concert pianist. I would not be interested in attending a piano concert anymore than I would a sporting event such as a football game, but that wouldn't mean I don't respect the efforts of the participants in both events. Lack of interest does not imply lack of respect.

I will say, though, that the types you speak of hardly have any power over others (except, perhaps, in a college classroom or an online forum where it's easy to be rude and personally attack others). The sports crowd, on the other hand, seem to have a great deal of power for obvious reasons. Picture, if you will, in your mind the situation of a scrawny or fat nonathletic boy in a mandatory boys' P.E. class that is centered around sports to the complete exclusion of exercise programs for the nonathletic kids. He has no power at all. Every school day he dreads the approach of the period when he will have P.E. He likely will be subjected to humiliation and bullying, and nobody will care.

As I said, I've never had this attitude in my life. But I was subjected to ridiculous stereotyping. For example: In the mid-1960s when I was an eighth-grader, my parents sent me to a clinical psychologist because I was being bullied (verbally) at school and my grades had fallen. The psychologist -- who, unfortunately, turned out to be abysmally incompetent -- decided in his infinite wisdom that I should take judo lessons. He sent me to a dojo that was run by a former university football player. He was the embodiment of machismo. The coldest man I've ever known. I learned what machismo was before I even heard the word. I always felt like an outsider in his dojo; and when he promoted me to brown belt (a promotion I clearly did not deserve), I felt like he was patronizing me as that scrawny nonathlete in his class. By the time I was a junior in high school, I decided this nonsense had gone on long enough and quit, expecting an angry protest from him but hearing none.

I looked him up eight years later. He expressed certain peculiar views of his own that explained a lot. First, he claimed that he had saved me from homosexuality! You see, he stereotyped me. Since I was physically weak, had no interest in sports, didn't stand up to bullies (because they all were physically stronger than I was), surely I must have homosexual tendencies. You know the old line. I supposedly was some kind of sissy, whatever that is. He also said that only athletes and men in certain blue-collar vocations were "real men." He even denigrated Dr. Sakharov, claiming that he really wasn't all that courageous because he had the support of the "international media." (Say what?) And even though he was an instructor in the marital arts, he had no problem with bullying! He said the guy who's bullied by his boss can always kick the family dog when he gets home from work. What a noble philosophy! (For whatever it's worth, this guy happens to be a Republican.)

It's not so hard to understand why I detest machismo with every fiber of my being. I respect the true masculinity that was manifested by Sakharov and Wallenberg, when they sought to help the oppressed. Those men in this country who spoke out against Jim Crow during the 1950s and early 1960s were cut from the same cloth, as far as I'm concerned. I dare say machismo has no respect for such men.

I hate to say this, but machismo seems to be so common among athletes and coaches. Just to give another example (and I could give others), just a few years ago a childhood friend of mine who had played on his high school's football team informed me that most of his teammates had considered all the nonathletic guys at their school to be inferior. (This childhood friend of mine wasn't playing the "sour grapes" routine. He's still a big football fan today.) Another friend of mine who played on the same team recently told me that he never saw a more insecure group of guys in his life. He said they were constantly "proving" their masculinity over and over again, usually at the expense of guys who weren't athletes.

I realize there are exceptions to this. For example, trumad and several other DU members I know of who have decidedly athletic backgrounds clearly reject machismo. They are men I admire. I honor them. I wish I had known someone like trumad when I was in high school.

I'm firmly convinced that there has been a social animus against nonathletic boys for generations going back to the Thirteen Colonies. You know, bookish men are supposed to be effete, blah blah blah. I suggest you read The Feminized Male, which was written by a New York City sociology professor named Patricia Cayo Sexton (who passed away last year). She rails against nonathletic boys and men, whom she deems to be "feminized," and makes some of the most absurd statements I've ever heard. The book is seething with hatred. (Hey, she detested nonathletic academic men; so, why in the world did she choose to become a Professor?! ) She was on the political left, but this diatribe reads like it was written by Ann Coulter or Phylis Schlafly. It reads like racist or anti-Semitic hate literature, except the targets are nonathletic guys. If you don't believe me, read it for yourself.

As a heterosexual, I don't know whether being gay makes one predisposed to disliking sports anyway. Sounds rather unlikely...and it hasn't been my experience .


It's a dumb claim that historically has been made by those seeking to demean gays with negative stereotypes. There are more gay athletes than we realize. Some stay in the closet. Incidentally, several years ago I once came across an interesting blog at a particular gay website -- outsports, I believe (if I remember the name correctly). Just as there are sports fans on one side and sports haters and critics of the culture on the other side among straight guys, the same rift exists to the same degree among gays, apparently.

End of this rant, an incredibly long post.

Peace.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #12)

Fri Sep 6, 2013, 06:39 PM

15. I actually considered deleting this post of mine (the one above) in its entirety.

Admittedly, my comments are a bit personal; and they're expressed in a bitter tone. (Incidentally, I wouldn't have posted them in most boards of this forum, as that would have been inappropriate. But surely the problems that boys face would be relevant to the Men's Group.) But each time I came back here and skimmed over what I had written, I could not say that my observations were irrelevant; so, I let my post stand.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #15)

Fri Sep 6, 2013, 10:32 PM

16. Thank you for leaving the post

I had similar experiences with sports/macho, but from the big/fat man angle. I was beyond lucky that I had the ability to swim through all the playground/bully/sports crap from Junior High through High School. I didn't have to deal with hardly any of it at the college level, or in my working career, but 7-12th grades were a constant fight in terms of peer pressure, and dealing with machismo.

When I hit the 7th grade I was 6'2 and weighed over 230lbs, and I hated P.E., the instructor and kids were constantly pushing me, trying to, honestly...embarrass the shit out of me. In running, or sprinting I had to keep up with the pack, and if I was more than 10 seconds behind, the teacher would make the whole class do the running routine over again, and again. Which in turn would make everyone hate me for being so slow/fat.

It got worse until I came to the understanding that I had to put the hurt on people. What I mean by putting the hurt on people, was putting my best effort into Football(which I do admit, I was okay entering, anything to get out of my house), but I found out because of my size and apparent strength I could bury anyone into the field. When I was a freshman I was 6'3 and 330, and I hit every goddamn fucking guy on our team as hard as I could, like my life depended on it, because I was so sick and tired of being ran down by them and after a month of so of practice the heckling/making fun of me by my male peers ceased. I used very aggressive violence on the field to end my bullying/being run down.

In doing so, I realized that on a personal level I just wanted to be left alone, but because of my size I was constantly put into positions of proving my masculinity, by having guys want to fight me, or try to embarrass me, and I hated being pushed into those situations.

After my freshman year a majority of the bullying/peer pressure I experienced was from the female population of our school, which I don't really understand, other than I think they degraded me to make themselves feel better, or did so to impress their friends.

I didn't know what else to do during my HS years to rid myself of the machismo angle, and my tact with Football worked although I wish there was a different way to deal with it. At my personal core, the need for me to just be left alone is one of the building blocks that define who I am, both in spirit and in body.

I cannot imagine how other men had to deal with it, let alone being smaller, or weaker, or whatever issue they had at the time...I hated every minute of it.

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Response to Broken_Hero (Reply #16)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 04:13 AM

18. Thank you very much for posting and sharing your background with us!

Your story is so compelling that I'm almost at a loss for words. Thank you so much for giving a human face to high-school football, which is something that propaganda mill known as the sports media refuses to do. I appreciate hearing stories such as yours because I'm able to relate to them. When I was in high school, the football players were to me like aliens from another planet. I felt that I had nothing in common with them and that they didn't have anything in common with me. (And, by the way, I did not feel superior to them. I felt inferior to them. Even the jerks.) With the exception of one (a nice guy) who was the son of one of my dad's business partners, I was apprehensive about them.

I don't know if you also read my first long post in this topic. I'll try to avoid repeating myself, but I may not be able to avoid doing that.

Your high-school experience reminds me of a similar experience of a childhood friend of mine who played football at his high school. When he had made the football team, he seemed to discard me as a friend because I wasn't a part of the football crowd. (Not that I ever said anything critical about football. I just wasn't enthused about it.) But several years later he told me that one of his coaches had taught him how to inflict pain upon other players. He actually ended up enjoying the inflicting of pain. But after he had graduated from high school, his conscience finally caught up with him; and he wrestled with feelings of guilt for several years before he finally got over it. He still loved football, but he hated that coach.

That reminds me of an incident that was recently related to me by a close friend who played football at the university where he earned his degree in sociology. He told me that one of his high-school coaches had been a sadist. The coach harassed and bullied him for I don't know how many days. Finally, my friend snapped and punched the coach in the nose, not knowing that the coach had a strong background in boxing. The coach beat my friend so he could watch him suffer in pain.

Like I said, the sports media does not present the human side of athletes, unless it helps them make money. I have a sister who attended a college in Colorado, which had a hockey team as well as a football team. She wasn't a sports fan, but she did get to know several of the hockey players who were in some of her classes. She was familiar with physical pain from the standpoint of her health; so, she was able to relate to them because of their physical injuries. Years later she told me that several had gone into one rough contact sport or another as a form of protection from an abusive family member.

You mention guys wanting to fight you because of your size. I know you'll be able to relate to this: One of the athletes at my sister's college whom I just mentioned (who was also a football player) was also a pacifist. He was aggressive in his games, but was a pacifist the rest of the time. As a result of horrendous psychological abuse during his childhood, he had developed a problem with anger arising from the deep hurt he had experienced. So, he adopted a pacifist mindset to control his anger. Don't know if it was philosophical or religious. When word got out about his pacifist convictions, smaller guys tried to provoke him into fighting so he would betray his ideals -- which, of course, was despicable on their part. He never gave in to them. He never hit back. My sister was amazed to see smaller men, in effect, try to bully a big guy. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet the guy. He would have been a radical departure from many of the characters in my school district.

I was in a really bad mood before I read your post. I am struggling with my bodybuilding program because I suffer from chronic sleep disorder and I have diabetes (type II, thankfully), which means that I can't eat as many carbs as other guys. (Here I'm trying to avoid repeating what I wrote in my first long post.) I have been afflicted with low body self-image to a severe degree for decades. I wish I had dispelled myself of the false notion that health clubs are the exclusive property of athletes, which definitely is not true, so I would have joined one when I was younger. So, I get frustrated at times. Good sleep is essential to bodybuilding, as you undoubtedly know. By following certain directives from a pulmonologist, I hope I'll be able to overcome my chronic sleep disorder in time. I have been making progress, but it's been quite slow. At the age of 63, I've never been this muscular in my life! I've gone from scrawny to medium build. I have the chest of a young man now. I never got that out of P.E.!

There is a book on coaching that I think you would enjoy reading -- InSideOut COACHING: How Sports Can Transform Lives written by Joe Ehrmann. Don't be put off by the subtitle. Joe is a former NFL player who emphatically rejects machismo. He advocates an innovative, humane coaching philosophy he calls transformational coaching. You might be amazed or even feel vindicated. I assume it's available in book stores. I ordered my copy from his website, to which I've provided a link below:

http://www.coachforamerica.com/

I must confess that I haven't actually read it all the way through. That's not because there's anything wrong with the book. That means there's something wrong with me. I have too much personal emotional pain associated with football, one of which is low body self-image. It's not the only book I can't read for that reason. I also couldn't read Our Guys by Bernard Lefkowitz (which exposes the Glen Ridge scandal) without having insomnia for a month because of the injustice involved. Two psychologists recently published a book for the parents of nonathletic boys on how to help them deal with the sports culture. I'm sure if I read that one, I'd start bawling. Don't want that. Of course, I'd still recommend that book to the parents of those kids.

Isn't it funny? I'm not a sports fan, I don't even know how the game of football is played, yet I've recommended a book on coaching!

Again, thank you very much for sharing your background with us. Like I said, I was in an angry mood before I read your post. You have helped me to feel better by reminding me that I can relate to guys who have athletic backgrounds.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #18)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:27 PM

19. "Like I said, the sports media does not present the human side of athletes"

I'm sorry, but you are just not correct about this.

There are countless absolutely wonderful TV shows, books, magazine articles about the human side of athletes and sports. If you subscribe to the idea that anything in those mediums is designed to make money....then there is not much I can say. And if you don't care about sports, then I don't believe you'd make an attempt to watch or read these things or know they exist. HBO's Real Sports, ESPN's 30 by 30, and Outside The Lines are absolutely amazing.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 03:09 PM

21. There is some truth to what you say.

As another DU member once told me in a PM, the problem with exchanges in forums such as this one is that many people don't always express themselves well. Sometimes when I've submitted a lengthy post, I may look at it in a day or two and spot a single sentence or two; and I'll say to myself, "That's not exactly what I meant." When I said "the human side," I meant the dark side. I misspoke on the money angle. Making money wouldn't necessarily be the only motivation behind a media outlet. Another motivation I didn't mention would be to turn as many people as possible into sports fans. Such a motivation would preclude dealing with the dark side of school sports.

I will admit I don't seek out every sports program to watch. I've never heard of the shows you've just mentioned; so, you may have something there. I've based my impressions of the sports media on selected sports columnists in newspapers. For example, I've noticed that none of the sports columnists in The Houston Chronicle, which serves this country's fourth largest city and outlying communities, have said a word about the Steubenvile scandal, not even after the guilty verdict. The sort of bias I just alluded to certainly is not restricted to these sports columnists I just mentioned. For example, in the news media Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley expressed sympathy for the convicted rapists.

I've had certain misgivings about the Internet. It has been a boon to pedophiles and other predators, has made porn accessible to young children, and has given birth to a new form of bullying (cyber bullying). One of my own obsessions has been mandatory boys' P.E. As I indicated in my first long post (unless I'm mistaken), when I first started working with a personal trainer at my health club, I inadvertently was made aware of how deficient the mandatory P.E. of my schooling days had been. In addition to asking other middle-aged nonathletic guys about their own P.E. experiences, I made many Google searches for the same purpose. Yes, I know people can lie on the Internet; but surely not every statement made online is a lie. To put it briefly, the picture that emerges of mandatory boys' P.E. is that historically it was centered around sports to the complete exclusion of any exercise programs, which is what the sedentary boys needed most of all. The professed claim that the purpose of mandatory P.E. was to promote physical fitness was a complete lie. I certainly never got any exercise, and I never even heard the words "exercise program." In fact, I didn't even learn what an exercise program was until after I had finished with P.E. in junior high school.

The real purpose of mandatory P.E. was to promote sports, as if that were even necessary! Sports are so immensely popular that they don't need to be forced upon anyone. I mean, there are plenty of volunteers. Sports can be promoted without making the lives of nonathletic kids miserable, as has been the case with mandatory P.E. for generations.

By means of reading online posts and messages and actually personally contacting guys by e-mail or phone, I've learned that some nonathletic guys had an even worse time than I did. Some of the bullying has been horrendous. Some of it has been physical bullying that amounts to assault. I seriously doubt anyone in the sports media has dealt with the issue of the bullying of nonathletic boys in sports-centered mandatory P.E. To be fair, I guess I should say that neither would the rest of the media.

I have felt bitter about this because some kids were hurt very badly, and for no good reason. I repeat, no exercise programs were provided for the nonathletes. They were forced to take a class that was completely useless to them. I know what works and what doesn't work for nonathletic boys because I have experienced both in my life. I never cease to be amazed at the radical difference between the mandatory P.E. experience of my youth and my current health club experience. Completely different social dynamics. I could have used the self-confidence I've gained from bodybuilding as man in his early 60s when I was a teenager, a time in my life when I had no self-confidence. But the physical education establishment, which was solely a creation of the sports crowd, cared absolutely nothing about the very real needs of nonathletic boys, whom they regarded as nonpersons or worse. I do appreciate the handful of reformers of recent years who recognized that nonathletic students were being kicked in the teeth and came up with decent programs that actually promoted physical fitness instead of bullying. I greatly admire the late Coach Phil Lawler (who created the wonderful PE4Life program and Coach Tim McCord (who just retired about two years ago). As for P.E. coaches who subscribe to the traditional approach and demand that all boys be forced to participate in team sports in mandatory P.E. (an arrangement that is always prone to bullying, including physical stuff), I have absolutely no respect for them because of their lack of compassion. Talk about imposing your personal preference upon others!

For generations horrendous bullying in P.E. classes was largely ignored, and all in the name of sports. But thanks to the Internet, the nonathletic guys have been given forums in which they can speak out instead of being ignored, as they always were before. Just do a Google search of this website on "phys ed bullying," "p.e. bullying," and "jock bullies" and see what you come up with. Some of your fellow DU members are painfully aware of what I'm talking about. No, this issue doesn't rank up with the latest issues in the news, such as whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria. But this issue was never discussed anywhere. I find it extremely difficult to believe that it was ever discussed in the sports media. In fact, Rick Reilly, for example, has been a strident defender of dodgeball, a game that clearly was designed for bullies. Another one I hadn't heard of was "smear the queer." Sounds quite progressive, doesn't it? I wonder what Scott Fujita would think of it.

If I sound bitter, so be it. But my bitterness is justified. If you don't like it, I'm sorry about that.

I could go on, but why bother? If I devoted more time to composing my posts, I'd come up with better prose. Some of it could be cleaned up so it would read better; but I don't have the time. I devote the bulk of my revising efforts to a novella I've been writing for a hobby.

In the scheme of things my opinion doesn't matter. Critics of the negative aspect of the culture of school sports (Notice I don't say "all sports." are so way outnumbered that they are comparatively smaller than a flea on the back of a whale.

You and I would get along quite well in real life, I'm sure. Forums emphasize differences and don't reveal the complete person.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #21)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 08:25 PM

23. Real Sports and Outside the Lines absolutely address the "dark side"

I would say Real Sports has been on the front of investigative journalism when it comes to the issue of concussions, steroids and the struggle of retired NFL players and the lack of help they've gotten from the Player's Union and the NFL itself.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 08:22 AM

24. Thank you for the two references.



Regarding Real Sports: Unfortunately, I and my wife no longer subscribe to a cable service; but I believe what you say about the program. I did a site search at the ESPN "Outside the Lines" webpage on "steubenville," among other items. They have had up-to-date reporting on that incident, including an article that points out the rape victim continues to undergo persecution to this very day. (Any comment about that, Poppy Harlow?) Excellent (the investigative reporting, that is).

Thanks, again.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #23)


Response to radicalliberal (Reply #26)

Sat Oct 5, 2013, 08:41 PM

28. And I doubt you will find a Food section in your local newspaper....

....that regularly addresses health code violations at local restaurants, genetic engineering in the farming industry, the mistreatment of animals by the meat industry....instead it's a lot of yummy recipe porn.

The average sports writer's job is to report scores and game story. Not be a sociologist. And if they tried to be, I'm sure they'd be dismissed as being over their head.

We're going to have to agree to disagree here about what constitutes the actual definition of "bias" in the news media. The sports pages job is to report scores and game stories, not make daily social statements. But as I've pointed out to you, if you don't look in the sports section on a daily basis because you are so repulsed at what's in there, you will never see them when they do. There are numerous fantastic sports writers, like Mike Lupica, Christine Brennan, and William Rhoden who have addressed the dark side of sports plenty.

Otherwise, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #28)


Response to radicalliberal (Reply #26)

Sun Oct 6, 2013, 03:24 PM

30. All I'm going to say to you is this....

I had a long reply to your last post but you, rather wisely, self deleted.

You mention the book "Our Guys" by Bernard Lefkowitz frequently. I've read the book. I own a copy, actually. Know where I found out about it? Sports Illustrated. He wrote an article for them about it when the book was released.

Guess they didn't get the cover-up memo.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #18)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 01:51 PM

20. You hit some very strong points.

There is a bit to digest here, so this may not be as in depth as I would like it to be.

"Years later she told me that several had gone into one rough contact sport or another as a form of protection from an abusive family member."

That is very true in my case, it was the reason why I joined football, or anything to get me out of the house, I'd sign up to shovel horseshit to get out of my house.


"He was aggressive in his games, but was a pacifist the rest of the time. As a result of horrendous psychological abuse during his childhood, he had developed a problem with anger arising from the deep hurt he had experienced."

That is my mindset as well, although I don't think I'm a true pacifist, but I am until someone I know, or a stranger is getting hurt then I step up and deal with the situation. I am terrified of being angry, because when I usually do get angry I have a harder time controlling myself, but with Football I had the go ahead to wreck havoc, but off the field I was just a nerd, comics, music, band(played clarinet).

In my adult life though, this has happened a few times, to which I call the small man syndrome where I got smaller men who try to shame me, and want to fight me to prove to their buddies/girlfriends what a badass they are. The times these have come up I never hit the guys, just brought them to the ground and pinned them til the bouncer/bartender got the idiot out of the bar. I do the same in all the fights I've ever been in, I have only closed fist hit one person in my life(Brother, go figure), my fights usually end very fast, with me picking them up, putting them straight into the ground, pinning them and telling them is this it, are we done yet?

None of my coaches in football taught me to play dirty, or do things that weren't allowed in the game, all of my coaches came from the church I was raised in(and how I got into football in the first place, they talked my mom into letting me play).

The other players would only acknowledge me when I was on the field, and would ignore me at school which was fine by me, I just wanted to be left alone, and I had no friends til my Junior year so when I finally got one that would accept me, not be afraid of me, or want to ridicule me I was relieved that I wasn't a freak show anymore(still friends with the guy to this day, we were each others best man's at our weddings).

With the social media they almost always cover how the sport has improved your life, and not how the psychology of it effects the players, most stories are "X came from a poor neighborhood and did great in doing Y, and is now a Z". In a way though, the sport helped me more than hurt me, if I didn't use the football route I probably would've lashed out in school in a physical way and hurt someone, and got expelled.



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Response to Broken_Hero (Reply #20)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 06:53 PM

22. Please don't worry about your response not being as in-depth as you'd like it to be.

I did cover a lot of ground. Besides, I don't always express myself well; and I probably won't cover all the points you've brought up.

I deeply appreciate what you've said about your background. I had had a stereotypical view of high-school (and college) football players from the time I was in high school until recently; namely, all football players were popular, they partied all the time, they all had perfect bodybuilder physiques, and all lived charmed lives. This stereotype has been contradicted for me to a degree on several occasions.

My current physical trainer, who had played football in high school, recently showed me a picture someone had taken of him at a beach when he was in high school. He didn't have any fat on his body, but he was extremely slender with no muscular development. (Of course, he's got a muscular build now. He developed his physique after high school.)

About two years ago I had an e-mail exchange with a university football player after I had defended him from being flamed at another website. He was a gentle giant who was extremely studious, as was a teammate of his who was also his roommate. He excelled academically, but didn't have a social life because of all the restraints on his time. Workouts and football practice and academic assignments took up all of his time. He hadn't gone to a single party.

I had heard before that being big presented problems for guys. The late Chicago columnist Mike Royko was a tall man. I don't know if he had had an athletic background, but he was tall. In one of his columns, he briefly alluded to the same problem he had had with smaller guys, whom he found to be a nuisance.

Broken_Hero, I'm very sorry about all the trouble you had when you were growing up; but I'm glad you've recalled your experiences in this forum. They're educational, and they help to break down stereotypes so guys can understand each other.

Granted, this Men's Group was set up to discuss political issues and social trends that effect men. But I'm also quite gratified to see that it has been used on a more personal level to promote understanding.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2013, 09:52 AM

14. Female and love sports.

Grew up in New England so I think it's in my genes.

I don't think it's weird one way or another...to each his own, and never considered someone gay for not liking sports.

Our son played baseball for several seasons and didn't really like it...no biggie when he quit.

He would rather be drawing some cool, weird stuff and playing Minecraft....normal imo. He doesn't watch sports with us....no interest

I can't believe I'm admitting this because most of you that "know" me know I am not easily offended, but I hate commercials that portray women as being pissed at their husbands/boyfriends for watching sports...it's like seriously...as a woman I'm not supposed to like sports or be mad at my husband for watching a fucking football game?

Hope I didn't dig my own grave...I did get a kick out of the comment about the guy that doesn't like sports but watches porn.

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Response to RiffRandell (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:47 AM

17. I know a lot of women who get super-irritated by those commercials.

I also know a lot of women who are bigger, more obsessed sports nuts than most guys I know.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2013, 05:31 PM

25. I despise mainsteam sports. I'm straight.

 

My personal view is mainstream sports are pablum for the masses.

I practice martial arts.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2013, 04:56 PM

27. Gay? We should all be so lucky. EOM.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 6, 2013, 07:03 PM

31. I'm indifferent to sports

 

But I'm not going to dump on HS sports because I know of too many young men for whom sports were the only thing that motivated them through school, and their coaches were the only people in their lives to model positive manhood.

My only sport was cross country because I don't do "team" very well, and my cross country coach was one of the nicest guys ever.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #31)

Sun Oct 6, 2013, 10:15 PM

32. In a sense, I'm indifferent to HS sports as long as players are held accountable . . .

. . . for the way they treat others away from the game (which definitely was not done in my school district), and nonathletic kids aren't forced to participate in team sports in mandatory P.E. classes (which don't even provide exercise programs for them). I refuse to put a bully or some other kind of jerk on a pedestal simply because he participates in a school sport. Such was the norm in my school district. It's unfair to the decent kids in sports.

Of course, I realize the comments I've just expressed are unpopular; so, I'll be on my way.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 6, 2013, 10:39 PM

33. I guess I'm not gay then because I watch sports every week...

?1268075648



What, why are you looking at me like that?

Just wanted to add:

The funniest part is this is what an actual gay professional wrestler looks like:

And this is that the straight wrestlers look like





Enjoyment of sporting events, or lack thereof, doesn't make you any more or less of a 'man'. I'm sure there are plenty of straight individuals that couldn't be bothered with professional or amature sporting events and plenty members of the LGBT community that route for their favorite team every Sunday, or whatever day depending on the sport.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)


Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2014, 03:57 AM

35. Just so there won't be any misunderstanding, Proud, I haven't read any of your replies --

-- since I last posted in this topic. (What would be the point? I'm sure they have been hostile to a greater or lesser degree.) Not because I have any personal animosity toward you, but because both of us are, in a sense, hopelessly close-minded. Since there can be no dialogue between us, there's no point in either of us reading the other's posts. Sadly, we'd only talk past each other and get nowhere; and neither of us would ever change the other's mind. So, this will be my swan song, so to speak.

I will continue to believe that for the most part the sports media is nothing but a propaganda mill. Certainly not deserving of respect from those of us who personally appreciate investigative reporting. Oh, you might be able to point to a website or two; but the sports media generally is loathe to deal with the issue of individual high-school or college athletes committing crimes against others, such as physical assault or rape. "Jock privilege," indeed! Just answer this question in your own mind: How has the sports media usually treated accusations of rape by athletes in mind-numbingly popular sports? If a teenage girl or young woman has been raped by one or more football players or basketball players, what sort of support should she expect from the community? The answer is obvious: She should shut the (expletive deleted) up!

There is one sports commentator whom I do admire: Dave Zirin. He's a brave man who undoubtedly has received death threats for daring to antagonize conscienceless sports fans (as opposed to those who have a conscience or the rudiments of one). Just as Kathy Redmond, who was raped by the former Cornhuskers football player Christian Peter (What a great name for a rapist!), has received death threats from sports fans for even daring to speak out publicly on the issue of athletes who get away with committing rape. (This is past history. Make appropriate Google searches. Even Coach Tom Osbourne now publicly supports Kathy Redmond -- probably for PR purposes). I've posted a rather interesting column of Zirin's below, as follows:

http://www.edgeofsports.com/2013-10-27-872/index.html

How Jock Culture Supports Rape Culture, From Maryville to Steubenville

By Dave Zirin




Your 14-year-old daughter is dumped on your freezing front lawn in a state of chemically induced incoherence with her shoes off and frost stuck in her hair. She tells you she was raped. You hear her 13-year-old best friend was also raped that same night. Your daughter is then bullied as a tape of the incident passes around her high school. You wait for the indictments and some semblance of justice, but they dissipate, as one of the accused is a football star from one of the area’s most prominent and politically connected families. The county prosecutor drops the charges, stating that your family is refusing to cooperate even though you are begging to be heard. Then it gets worse.

You are fired from your job without warning and the violent threats against your family through social media increase. You have to pick up your family and leave town. After your departure, your house is burned to the ground. But you refuse to be intimidated.

A public outcry develops, spurred by the decision of your family to come forward and speak out. Now, eighteen months after the incident, a special prosecutor is looking into the case.

This is the story of Melinda Coleman, her daughter, Daisy, her friend Paige, and Daisy Coleman's alleged rapist, Matthew Barnett, the grandson of a longtime member of Missouri’s House of Representatives.

There are other young men as well who are under scrutiny: athlete Jordan Zech, who allegedly filmed the assaults, and a 15-year-old whose name we do not know—who admitted to police that 13-year-old Paige “said no” several times, yet he refused to stop.

I do not know how Melinda Coleman has had the wherewithal to go public, be strong, and even have to serenity to say, in advance of a demonstration called for her family, “I do not condone violence in our defense I don’t want others terrorized as we have been.”

I am amazed by the composure of the now 16-year-old Daisy Coleman, choosing to go public, standing up for herself and writing essays online where she shares:

I sat alone in my room, most days, pondering the worth of my life.{… I burned and carved the ugly I saw into my arms, wrists, legs and anywhere I could find room. On Twitter and Facebook, I was called a skank and a liar and people encouraged me to kill myself. Twice, I did try to take my own life.

Yet I am the most stunned that here we are, six months after a similar case in Steubenville, Ohio, and still not talking openly about the connective tissue between jock culture and rape culture.

According to the Campus Safety Magazine website, in their statistical analysis:

College men who participated in aggressive sports (including football, basketball, wrestling and soccer) in high school used more sexual coercion (along with physical and psychological aggression) in their college dating relationships than men who had not. This group also scored higher on attitudinal measures thought to be associated with sexual coercion, such as sexism, acceptance of violence, hostility toward women and rape myth acceptance.

But forget the studies. The jock culture/rape culture dynamic should be obvious to anyone with any connection to organized sports. I saw it on the teams on which I played and I saw it on the team’s I’ve covered. I’ve heard the stories from athletes I’ve interviewed and from women with detailed descriptions of rape that go unpunished if someone with sports-related status is accused. I have seen it in the story of Lizzie Seeberg and the ways people still pretend that Notre Dame football is a bastion of morality.

The fact is that too many young male athletes are taught to see women as the spoils of being a jock. These young men are treated like gods by the adults who are supposed to be mentoring them—like cash cows by administrators who use their on-field exploits to extract money from politicians and alums.

No, I am not arguing that a majority of young men who play sports become people who engage in sexual assault. But hell, yes, I am arguing that in most male team sports, athletes are conditioned to look the other way if they see an assault about to take place. It is the exception when a teammate stands up at a party and says, “This cannot happen.” To take it even further, it the exception, for anyone, male or female, at a jock party to do the same.

The most distressing detail in the many articles I have read about Maryville was the story of a young girl at the high school who wore a homemade shirt when charges were not filed against Mr. Barnett. It read “Matt—1, Daisy—0”. To her, it was a sports score, a pep rally and just a big game. It’s time to change the game. Jock culture left to its own devices is rape culture. If you are a coach or parent not trying to intervene in this culture to teach young men to not rape, then you are doing everyone a grave disservice. Talk to other coaches. Bring in speakers. Seek out curriculum. Be someone who uses sports to actively build a movement against rape culture. To do nothing is to just ensure more Steubenvilles, more Torringtons and more Maryvilles to come. Not everywhere will have survivors willing to be as public as Daisy Coleman. But you can be a hero now by walking into your locker room and standing up to this shit today.


Is this the sort of commentary you would find in the sports section of your local newspaper or a magazine such as Sports Illustrated? What do they care about rape victims? The truth is they don't care. They haven't cared in decades. They never did care about the victims. All they care about is putting athletes on pedestals, regardless of whether they're decent or not, because there's money to be made by promoting school sports as the national secular religion of the United States of America.

As I said, there's no need to respond to this. Why bother when dialogue is virtually impossible between us?

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 25, 2014, 02:23 PM

36. WTF???

Anyone else been accused by someone who has them on ignore of posting projected/imagined "hostile" attacks?

I already told this guy Bernie Lefkowitz's book was excerpted in Sports Illustrated, but of course, he conveniently can't see that because he's ignoring me.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Wed Jan 29, 2014, 04:25 PM

37. I like football and loosely follow baseball. One of the things I like most about them...

is that they give me a topic to discuss with other people that is not religion, sex, or politics. I've always found the advice to stay away from those three topics to be useful but unfortunately I find that other people are increasingly unable to speak on a topic that isn't one of the above other than sports or work (and talking shop seldom goes well outside of work). So I find it handy to have a topic for light chit chat.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

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