This post was originally published in The Rival DC: GW’s Alternative Source for Alternative News.
The NFL has been a source of controversy lately over the lax punishment given to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for physically abusing his ex-fiancée.
Rice was only suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season. Smoking marijuana, however, warrants players a suspension that can last for up to a year. This makes no sense.
Women make up 45% of the NFL’s fans and 33% of its viewers. Despite this fact, the NFL has shown time and time again that it does not respect women. The Ray Rice scandal is just one of many sexist offenses made by the NFL. Cheerleaders have recently to sue teams for giving them low wages and Ray Rice is not the only player to assault a woman. Clearly, the NFL has a women problem.
Rice’s suspension was announced this past Thursday, and Keith Olbermann had an epic response to it on his show that night. He said, “The message to the women who the league claims constitute 50 percent of its fan base is simple: The NFL wants your money. It will do nothing else for you. It will tolerate those who abuse you verbally and those who abuse you physically.”
At the beginnning of the video, Olbermann lists many sexist comments made by men against female athletes, sports reporters, and fans. Olbermann listed the widespread criticism of Gabby Douglass’ hairstyle and Toronto Maple Leafs’ coach’s comment to a female reporter that she could only enter the locker rooms if she was naked, among other sexist comments made toward women in sports.
Olbermann also mentions college football player Clint Trickett’s sexist tweet, in which he stated, “Watchin football with girls is literally worse than death. One bad play, ‘they suck’. #TheseHoesAintLoyal #Stick2Cooking.” Trickett apologized for his tweet, but his apology is not enough.
When women are denounced from playing sports and told told to “stick to cooking,” young girls are discouraged from playing. And as Olbermann states, “another generation of athletes and fans begin to view women in sports as just a little less human than men.”
A new ad by Always looks into what women and girls think of the phrase “like a girl.” When women were asked to run, throw, and play like a girl, they laughed and acted out horrible athletic skills. When young girls were asked the same questions, however, they ran fast and played fiercely. Why does society teach us that girls can’t play? This needs to stop.
The NFL’s decision to only suspend Ray Rice for two games shows just how little the NFL respects women. It’s time to take action against sexist behavior made by men in the sports industry. Sign this petition from UltraViolet telling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that domestic violence committed by players deserves a much larger punishment. It might not change the punishment, but it will give the NFL and other sports leagues a rude awakening.
In kitteh news, ICYMI here’s a clip of keyboard cat performing at the Kitty Halftime Show at Puppy Bowl X!