Sports Outside the Beltway

Different words, different outcomes

In the past week or so, two men commenting on sporting events got themselves into hot water. Their divergent fates says something about their releative sins as well as about how they’ve handled them. In the more celebrated case (enough to knock the paternity of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby down a few notches) Don Imus referred to Rutgers women’s basketball team in a derogatory fashion. No one defends Imus, though there doesn’t seem to be a concensus what a fitting punishment would be. Baseball Crank though criticizes Rutgers for making the championship team into a bunch of wimps.

Somebody gave these young women the message – or at least failed to disabuse them of the notion – that they should take Imus’ words seriously, take them to heart. This press conference was a show of the coach and the players wallowing in Imus’ words, embracing them, and thus elevating them as if any serious person would think less of them – rather than of Imus – for what Imus said. This story should never have been about the players, because Imus’ words were generic (indeed, that’s precisely why they were offensive). It’s the Culture of Victimology at its most destructive, teaching these young women that they should consider themselves to have been genuinely maligned by an aging boor and to seek out the status and posture of one to whom a deep wrong has been done and who is owed.

To have had the team come out and say, “Nothing a declining two bit hack says can take away our triumph” would have put Imus in his place quite nicely.

 On the other hand Billy Packer stood his ground, SarcastiPundit agues, as he should have.

“I said he fagged out on me and it had nothing to do with sexual connotation,” Packer told the Philadelphia Inquirer. I got to know Charlie a number of years ago and have great admiration for his program and intellect. He is a big Dukie, and he has been talking a number of years about coming to the Final Four to be a runner.” Packer explained that he was using the word in the wholly legitimate form of an adjective meaning to exhaust or tire out. I’m certainly no fan of Packer; he’s (for lack of a better term) a college basketball supremacist and generally a blowhard. But I have to give him props here for refusing to be bullied in a situation where he has done nothing wrong. Anybody so ignorant as to be offended by such a thing should spend more time educating himself or herself and less time trying to impose speech codes on others.

And SarcastiPundit remembers a time when an inoffensive word led to a resignation due to mass ignorance.

Crossposted on SoccerDad.

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