Sunday, April 15, 2007

And another thing on Imus...

Don Imus has been ripped for his racist comments and has paid for it. But there is another suggestion in his comments that I haven't heard being mentioned that I also find disturbing.

Imus referred to the Tennessee team as 'cute' and the Rutgers team as, well, you know what he said. This seems to imply that Imus thinks women's athletics exists purely to be eye candy. This shows a blatant disrespect for the women on both teams, who were playing for the national championship.

Unfortunately, Imus is not alone in this opinion. There are many sports fans who were disgusted by the racist aspect of his comments, but feel the same way regarding women in athletics. Here are a few other examples of female athletes not being taken seriously:

  • Anna Kournikova got attention despite never winning a tournament.
  • Jennie Finch was a winner, but got much more attention for her looks.
  • Some players on the LPGA feel the need to 'sell sex' to promote their tour.
  • How often have you heard about Playboy offering a female athlete X dollars to pose?
  • Sports news websites occasionally run lists or contests for the 'Sexiest Woman in the _______'.

Imus got what he deserved, but perhaps there are plenty of others who need to thing about how they view female athletes.

Finally, a confession of sorts: Before this situation, I had never heard of Don Imus. Maybe I've lived a sheltered life. I'm pretty sure I was happier not knowing him.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Good post, Chris. As an aspiring sports writer, I have to be careful with this type of bias myself. I will admit freely and openly here that I enjoy watching men's sports more than women's sports. It's a personal preference, and I have a right to that. The problem arises, though, when people that prefer men's sports trivialize women's sports. Female athletes take competition just as seriously as the men, and they should be given due credit for their efforts.

And it creates a dichotomy for the women, too. They want to be "legitimate" on the one hand, but on the other, they have to put butts in the seats. So they turn to sex appeal, and that draws a certain demographic. Not that it should, but it does.

This is a catch-22, but I don't think it's going away anytime soon.