Tag Archive: football


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Unless you grew up under or live under a rock, Super Bowl Sunday is likened to a national holiday and whether you celebrate it or not, you can’t help but know it’s coming. You can denounce Super Bowl Sunday all you want, but you can’t escape it. You can even go your entire life without watching one Super Bowl or attending one Super Bowl party, but you still can’t escape from it.  “Back in the day,” if you didn’t want anything to do with the Super Bowl you could just watch another tv station, go out to dinner, go to a movie, or in the most extreme cases barricade yourself in your house turn out the lights and pray that the game would be a complete and utter bore so the neighbors party would end soon and everything would go back to normal. In today’s world, there is no way to escape the Super Bowl even if you want to. With social media, you will get updates whether you want them or not and even be able to watch the commercials the day after.  It is a fact, that you will have friends, neighbors and co-workers who will update you with some trivial piece of information that means nothing in the bigger scope of the world.

Everyone whether they like it or not, can find something they enjoy with the Super Bowl. There are parties, alcohol, fabulous tasting homemade dips and desserts that will take a week on the treadmill just to burn off, and the hilarity of the conversations between friends supporting opposing teams. Then there is the pre-game show, the Star Spangled Banner that no one ever thinks is sung well enough, the half time show, crazy and hilarious commercials, and somewhere in there they play football.  As a woman, I can keep up with the best of them when it comes to calling the game. I’m the woman at the Super Bowl party that is not serving the food or asking the stereotypical girl questions to her boyfriend, “Now tell me again, who is the team in purple?” (As she cocks her head to the right and bats her eyes). As a woman, I can make a room full of men fall silent while they are busy debating what both teams have done wrong and why they basically suck, while I say something brilliant like, “If the quarterback would just take the snap and dive to the left of the center (called a quarterback sneak), then they would get the first down.” I’m also the woman who screams and damns the referee to hell when the foot was clearly in bounds.

sbHere’s the thing, though. I love football, but somehow over the course of time, I’ve learned to hate it and everything it stands for. We all are aware and have been since the beginning of the sport of the male role vs. the female role presented. The women are the cheerleaders and the men play the game. No one is blind to the obvious misogyny in the commercials…just look at this year’s Go Daddy.com commercial. Everyone recognizes the obvious violence in football.  (It’s a sport where people hit each other…that’s a no brainer).  None of that ever really bothered me until a few years ago when we started seeing women as reporters on the sideline. Everyone hailed it as a win for women. I did not. The woman on the sidelines is always beautiful, always thin, almost always blonde, and really just reports on the most recent injuries, the coach’s irritation with his own team, and the “atmosphere” of the crowd in the stadium. The men call the game. The men sit in the booth and report the stats and the men make a lot more money. Football more so than any other sport, is the epitome of violence, misogyny, and ego. It is modern day Rome.

Here’s another thing I learned. Much further away from the stadium, somewhere in someone’s home, is a woman and a man in an unhealthy and unstable relationship. With football comes an increased level of alcohol, gambling, yelling, and increased levels of testosterone. Images of sex and violence wrap the evening in a scene of tension. As it was explained to me once, “You don’t know what it’s like to pray for a team to win, when you really could care less about the outcome, just so he won’t take it out on you if they don’t.” This isn’t about hitting, because we always seem to jump straight to the extreme. This is about using sports as a reason to tear another person down. “My team didn’t win, so the house isn’t clean enough.” (Yeah that makes sense). “My team didn’t win, so we are going to have sex to prove I’m a man.” sb3(ummmm….o.k. like that’s going to change the outcome). “My team didn’t win and because I’m drunk, I’m going to find a reason to make this YOUR fault.” The house isn’t clean. The kids aren’t quiet. Dinner wasn’t good. You never do this, you never do that, you are always making my life miserable. For some, sports is an everything, always, and never proposition.

For some reason in this world of ours, sports is a bi-product of self-esteem. “If my team wins, then I get bragging rights for an entire year.” “If my team doesn’t win, then everything I am is worthless and always has been.” Entire communities will base their reputation on their sports team. We rally around the team and build it up. We will base our entire self-worth on the team we support. We base friendships on sports and billions of dollars dictate our mindset.

sb4I’m not sure I’ll ever completely give up football or some of the other sports I love to watch. I can’t however, close my eyes to the vile amounts of money we spend on them while we ignore our fellow man. I can’t ignore the fact that our world could be different if our priorities shifted to the love of each other vs. the love of a sports team. I absolutely can’t ignore the fact that there are men in this world whose own self-worth is so low, that they base their entire mindset on a 20 something quarterback and a ball. Last night when the 49ers missed the two-point conversion that would have tied the game with less than 10 minutes left, I can’t help but wonder how many cuss words were hurled, walls were hit, sports artifacts were thrown, and how many women sat on the couch praying for that ball to make it into the endzone.

 

Cheer leading is a hard job.

Cheerleaders do amazing things!

Cheerleaders are forced to wear very skimpy clothes in the cold cold weather.

The athletic ability of cheer leading is amazing.

When a person has the ability to do 7 back handsprings in a row – that is amazing and that is a cheer leader.

When you can create a tower of people…that uis cheer leading and that is amazing.

BUT –

They are exploited continuously!

They could do all these amazing things with clothes on…instead they are forced to dress in skimpy, proactive clothes. Why?  So they look sexually appealing (No other reason exists! Period! )

When I ask why they MUST wear these clothes, they say…”It’s a tradition”.

And?

So then we look at clothes for men cheerleaders (Who are always said to be gay. Who are always mercilessly teaswed no matter their unbelievable talents.) and women cheerleaders…you see the sexism promoted!  Let’s look:

These are the two pictures of appropriate cheerleader uniforms for both sexes.

The male cheerleader has clothes on: shirt, pants (mostly sweatpants) and athletic shoes. (By thew way – when I looked for pictures of male cheerleaders[there’s a lot of them by the way] i found hundreds of pictures making fun of male cheerleaders as gay, feminine, etc, etc)

The female cheerleader has very little clothes on. Actually, i believe that if they could get the women to wear nothing at all they would prefer it. Their uniform is a halter top or very very small top to accentuate the breasts, a skirt that is barely there, and small shoes. (By the way – the picture that I chose was chosen because most of the other pictures had so very little clothes I thought it inappropriate to put on the post)

Speaking of these clothes, and I quote from Tony Porter from a call to men: Football is a winter sport. Most of the world is really really cold during the winter. The football players have 4-5 layers on to keep warm. The women of the cheer leading squad….same uniform (however in recent years they’ve been ok’d to wear tights…how nice)

In the end…we see an inequality, a sexist depiction…and nobody seems to be changing anything. Sadly…women are flocking in droves to uphold the sexist stereotype.

Opt 4 changing the norm.

Opt 4 seeing women as people not as sexual buffets.

Opt 4 seeing cheerleaders not as sex objects but as gymnastic level athletes who should be celebrated for their abilities and not their body parts and skin.

 

The following is the full article of how the NFL is working toward the prevention and cessation of Teen Dating Violence and Intimate Partner Violence

Read on……

NFL program works to teach teens how to have healthy relationships

LatinaLista — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four adolescents reports verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend each year.

 

Otherwise known as teen dating violence, it has been on the rise over the last several years. It’s gotten to the point that the Arizona state legislature is now requiring their school districts to incorporate dating abuse information into school curriculums.

And the Massachusetts Essex County District Attorney was so concerned about the rise of teen dating violence in his state that he released a video called “Teens Talk About Dating Abuse.”

A Rhode Island congressman has been holding community strategy sessions at a local high school to explore how to best combat the growing epidemic.

The term “epidemic” may be an understatement considering that a free teen dating app released in April and developed by The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence has already been downloaded in more than 20 states across the nation.

The app provides teens with information on “where to get help if they are in unhealthy or violent relationships; provides guidance on what defines a healthy relationship; and informs teens how to help a friend experiencing dating violence.”

However, the root cause of teen dating violence is the attitude boys and girls have towards one another. The solution involves changing that attitude through education and awareness.

The National Football Players Association, working with the national men’s organization, A Call to Men, an organization devoted to addressing domestic and sexual violence prevention, launched Training Camps for Life .

Training Camps for Life puts NFL football players to work, along with A Call to Men representatives, in discussing topics such as overcoming adversity, the impact of decisions and consequences, and healthy teen relationships.

A CALL TO MEN will work with Training Camps for Life participants to challenge the attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be a man. Teens will examine popular culture through a lens of respect and equality, and dissect lyrics of current hip-hop tracks to understand the concept of male privilege. They will also learn to identify the nuances of abuse – like flirting vs. harassment – and understand when and how to seek help.

Considering that health experts say that many girls victimized by teen dating violence don’t report the abuse, it’s important that girls, as well as boys, learn what it means to be respected and when abuse isn’t a sign of love or affection.

To that end, boys and girls who participate in the Training Camps for Life program have the option to sign a pledge called LIVERESPECT. If they sign it, they commit to end teen relationship abuse and speak out against domestic violence.

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