“I wonder do we hate our women?”
This is not just a famous rap lyric from a 20 year old song. It is a true wake up call for men to ask themselves, do we really hate women? Considering all evidence that has been presented, the sports world has not done its best job to provide true protection for women, at least not the way we expect them too.
There is no set beginning, “it all started” and then you insert a tragic date, but rather “where do we start” for the improvement of the treatment and perception of women in sports culture. The daunting realization is that every situation, not just one, needs to be discussed and thoroughly evaluated in order for the severity of these events to be taken seriously and not ignored.
Larry Nassar Affect:
In 1994, A gymnast, who later becomes an Olympic medalist, alleges Nassar begins to sexually abuse her in 1994, according to a 2016 lawsuit. The abuse allegedly continued for six years. According to court records, in 1998, Nassar begins sexually abusing the six–year–old daughter of a family friend. She later tells police Nassar penetrated her vagina with his fingers “every other week for five years”. A student–athlete at MSU reports concerns regarding Nassar to trainers or coaches, but the university “failed to take any action” as a result, a lawsuit later claims. If this isn’t horrifying to read, then I beg of you to seriously think about the little girls, young ladies and women who have experienced this in real life at the time of these events.
Here’s where the true issues lies in the midst of everything. A Power 5 conference school “failed to take any action”. This event is on record taking place in 1998, nearly 20 years before Nassar was tried and convicted of child pornography, seven counts of first degree criminal sexual assault amongst other criminal counts. The sports culture has failed to truly put women in a place to feel safe; it has neither respected or considered their voices as a whole.
The moment one woman is failed and feels unheard, is the same moment we create “It’s hard to believe she’s telling the truth” years after the incident has happened, moments. Those moments are quite perplexing due to the sensitivity of the situation. More importantly, those moments where issues are swept under the rug can lead to bigger moments like the Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Mavericks.
Within the last half decade, major pro-sports organizations, such as the NBA and the NFL, has become a looming cloud of false hope for women. Women are brought into career positions hoping to have the stability they’ve desired since choosing their life path. Whether it is as a cheerleader or working in an executive position, the thought of having to join a movement like #MeToo should never be a thought, right?
Well this is the outcome of incidents that have taken place. In February, 2018 the Dallas Mavericks were under investigation for a hostile work environment, including reports of inappropriate conduct against women by then-team president and CEO Terdema Ussery. Mark Cuban has since then claimed he “had no clue”. He also has said “Growing up, I always thought, I need to treat everybody equally, but equally, treating people equally, does not mean treating them the same. And that’s what I learned.” Where there’s an problematic issue, there’s a first step.
The Washington Redskins fiasco in 2013 is also a slap in the face to women who may not be as “important” in the grand scale of things but hey, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. The Redskins (who are known to not care about people’s feelings, google the name differences) allegedly had cheerleaders perform topless in front of spectators. Imagine expecting the usual cheer duties and then being subjected to the usual undermining of women rights. Imagine one evening, at the end of a 14-hour day that included posing and dance practices, your squad’s director tell nine of the 36 working cheerleaders that their work is not done.
That they have a special assignment for the night. Some of the male sponsors had picked them to be personal escorts at a nightclub. One source said they were told “get back to your room and get ready,” by a team cheerleader director. This lead to several of the cheerleaders beginning to cry.
Imagine feeling pimped out. This is what some of the incensed women in our sports culture are fighting on a daily basis. They’re expected to perform their job duties, with a smile, in a world and business that is over crowded with people who don’t look like you nor can they relate(sounds like another longstanding American issue).
So again, I ask you as the reader, what you have done to assist true equality for women in the sports culture? I ask you, have you taken a step outside of your shoes to understand the plight of women in this business? Are you sympathetic and quiet or empathetic and loud? For men, our job should not be making women feel safe because a feeling can be temporary. However, our job should be to make women safe in a world that may not have to go through the hoops women do.
Eliminate future issues by addressing them immediately and implementing true assistance, not like affirmative action because we no longer need any hidden agendas or smoken mirrors. There’s a hashtag for everything in this Social media era but what does likes, retweets, and any other form spreading information mean if it’s not being applied? There’s an old saying”knowledge is power”. This is not complete and and accurate information. However, knowledge in motion is power.
Lastly, Milwaukee fans. Chill. Your last head coach had a slightly under average winning record and your Organization can’t find a way to win consistently considering having an arguably top 7 player. Sometimes, things might need a woman’s touch and sometimes it doesn’t but something is broke and it needs fixing.