Why Being a Man And a Feminist Are Impossible In Sports

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Let’s be real about something. In a lot of ways, what the byline of this piece tells you is more about you than me. It is a considered truth that being a feminist in sports is terribly complicated. But it has never been harder than it was this past week.

Full Disclosure before I go any farther: I have never been in a locker room, and I have no desire to be. But just because of that it does not mean that I am going to stand idly by while sexual harrassment is explained away with a combination of defenses each more implausible and utterly ridiculous than the last one.

First off a little bit of background. Ines Sainz, a sports reporter for the Mexican TV network TV Azteca, went to the practice facility of the NY Jets with the idea of interviewing their Mexican-American quarterback Mark Sanchez. As soon as she got there she was allegedly sexually harrassed both on the field and in the locker room, the kind of catcalls and hooting that a respected male journalist simply does not get.

And what has the response been? Some chuckling, a few “boys will be boys”, and the worst part: “Look at how she’s dressed. She had to have known she was going to get ogled and catcalled.”

All of these are wrong answers. Those of you who read this site and post in the comments ask yourself one question. Imagine your wife, or your daughter, or any female family member who you respect as a journalist and this was their job. Would you be completely ok with that same person being cat-called, hollered at like she was a girl in the street, and openly disrespected merely because she fit a certain set of beauty standards? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be pissed off.

But just when I thought there was nothing more that could be said, here comes Clinton Portis. Clinton Portis, who has made a career out of talking constantly and consistently about whatever might flit through the entirety of his mind, went on sports radio in Washington, DC and explained that he expected all female journalists to have at least some degree of attraction to at least one of their interviewees.

Here’s the full transcript: (Big ups to the DC Sports Bog for this)

“You know man, I think you put women reporters in the locker room in positions to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room, I think men are gonna tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman. For the woman, I think they make it so much that you can’t interact and you can’t be involved with athletes, you can’t talk to these guys, you can’t interact with these guys.

“And I mean, you put a woman and you give her a choice of 53 athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her. You know, somebody got to spark her interest, or she’s gonna want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s packages. And you’re just sitting here, saying ‘Oh, none of this is attractive to me.’ I know you’re doing a job, but at the same time, the same way I’m gonna cut my eye if I see somebody worth talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.”

And recently on my twitter feed (follow me at @OkoriWadsworth) Jason Whitlock, a man who has openly and unabashedly declared his rather hefty appetites for the female flesh, railed against everyione for coming to Sainz’s defense. His basic point was the same as Portis’s, and for good measure, he threw in a bucket’s worth of misogyny.
Now from a man who has reveled in the fact that he goes to strip clubs to then proclaim that everyone in the whole wide world needs to be, HAS to be, obsessed with sex in the manner that he is…. I can’t take it.

Let me be clear about what being a feminist means. it means that I want respect to be shown to people of all genders, races, and creeds regardless of how they are dressed, or how good their butt may or may not look in a pair of tight jeans. It also means that when a reporter, a journalist, shows up to do her job she does not have to be subjected to catcalls and harassment merely because she happens to be attractive.

In a sporting world where my commercials are swamped by half-naked women selling beer, and every woman is judged on her looks first and her talent 4th, this is no longer acceptable. Ask yourself if this is worth it.

10 Responses to “Why Being a Man And a Feminist Are Impossible In Sports”

  1. Origin says:

    Great article Okori.

    Let me add also that Ms. Ines program is called the sexiest sports show on TV. Now if you have ever watched latin TV you know that it is extremely over the top when it comes to sexuality. From women in G strings on game shows. To Vida G going on a show with a bikini and the host smacking her booty up and down………..no lie.

    Ms. Ines gimmick with her show is to dress up a certain way and hit on the athletes when doing interviews. Its something that is over the top.

    Now in saying that she needs to be respected to the fullest. But at the same time is this something that Ms. Ines was going back and forth with the athletes and they thought this was a game. Or they just escalated the conversation to an extreme.

    Anyway I see no reason that the reporters of any kind should be in the locker rooms. Heck if they need to be their make them all get dressed then have the interview…….just like the WNBA.

    Last I think its a freaking joke that fans and the league pretend to be so upset with this event. This is the same league that shows groin and breast shots of silicon having, bleach blond extension wearing women called cheer leaders. They have or had (I rarely watch the NFL or pregame shows) a woman who did the weather on Fox NFL pregame show who wore the so called stripper shoes during the report with tight tops and tight booty hugging pants on all the time.

    You have countless women who are side line reports who seem to be only there because of their looks. I have no problem with intelligent women on the sidelines and doing sports. But must they all dress the same and look the same. They are nothing more then eye candy for the perverts that watch sports. If it was really equal opportunity for women they would be in the booth instead of Joe Buck and the QB that likes to call his WRs the N-word Troy Aikman.

    And as you said Okori must every dang beer commercial be about naked women shaking it up??? Its sad and sexist!!! But hey if it isn’t about the bucked naked women in commercials its about the old men who can’t get a hard on.

    The stuff is a freaking joke all of it. Until the media, fans and the NFL (or sports in general) has an true discussion about this, then its is nothing more then grandstanding.

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  3. Shingo says:

    Are you kidding me? This reporter is the same “professional” who wore a wedding dress to Media Day to court Tom Brady before the Suoer Bowl. Regularly when interviewing athletes, she is known to openly flirt, dress provocatively, and her personal schtick is to assess the size of the athlete’s biceps with her own hands. Ines Sainz doesn’t treat her job with respect and both her peers and athletes can clearly see this and it’s about time you do too. Don’t waste your time giving this attention-seeking joker any more publicity. You were clearly duped by her “I’m innocent but how’s my butt look in these jeans” act when writing this post. Man up!

  4. sankofa says:

    @origin

    Anyway I see no reason that the reporters of any kind should be in the locker rooms. Heck if they need to be their make them all get dressed then have the interview…….just like the WNBA.”

    As some one who as been in locker rooms as the fish in the bowl it is uncomrfortable for me to try to change when my team mates must less strangers invade my little bubble. I was goin to say more bu I think origin nailed a good piece of the double standard there in.

    In looking at the first part of clinton portis statement: “You know man, I think you put women reporters in the locker room in positions to see guys walking around naked, and you sit in the locker room with 53 guys, and all of the sudden you see a nice woman in the locker room, I think men are gonna tend to turn and look and want to say something to that woman. For the woman, I think they make it so much that you can’t interact and you can’t be involved with athletes, you can’t talk to these guys, you can’t interact with these guys. …”

    This is spot on, tough I don’t kow personally about the rest. And you are right okori that: “In a sporting world where my commercials are swamped by half-naked women selling beer, and every woman is judged on her looks first and her talent 4th, this is no longer acceptable. Ask yourself if this is worth it.”.

    But this is the crux of the matter. If what Origin and Shingo says is true about this individual, then she more than the players violates legitimate concerns about sexual harrassment, because she gives neanderthals the go ahead to harrass women. Ever since Sam Wych had hs tussle with the NFL, I have always felt that that this does a disservice to the male athletes and eventually would lead to serious problems.

    After all how do you think Dr. J’s daughter came about. Read up on that story and the shit that happens in these locker room.

    I haven’t been following this story till now, but this seems like a case of right cause, wrong person and wrong venue. Such a discussion should happen, but if she is the match thrown in a powder keg, maybe the discussion should not be from this story!

  5. Origin says:

    Great points Sankofa………….lets not forget the little story of the arizona state RB who was having an affair with the reporter. That mess basically destroyed his career. Dang I forgot the dudes name too………..Temple, Sankofa, Miranda……..can any of you’ll help me out with that young mans name??

    Anyway its a total trip how its O.K. to sell sex until its blows up in folks face. ESPN can talk about plastic Kim Kardashion fake behind or how Big Ben is a player. But when some sexual harrasment stuff goes down at ESPN they are quiet. Or when Big Ben becomes a preditor they are quiet.

    Its fun and games and sexy for the NFL when the cheerleaders are half naked until Justin Timberlake snatches off Janet Jacksons top…….then its a problem. Its cool as heck when you rnewest Euro Princess is playing tennis and you can see her under wear in her short skirt. But it ain’t cool when Serena wears her kat suit…..now its a problem.

    And what Ms. Ines wears is so over the top. But somehow Venus skin colored tennis clothes was such a distraction huh??Women get sent home everyday in the work force for wearing the that stuff Ms. Ines was wearing to work. I was always told that working as a reporter was a professional job. Then why is Ms. Ines dressing like shes at the club. I mean come on and the Jets act like they don’t even know whats up???……..Please!!!

    See the media pimps these ladies to get the exclusive interviews from these athletes. Plus uses them for eye candy for the fans and the men in the industry.

    Its no more different how colleges pimp young female student and sorority girls when it comes to getting star athletes to come to their college. Then when some negative stuff pops off the school wants to play innocent.

    I have to laugh at this stuff really………..Its like the pimp telling the John that he isn’t guilty too in the matter.

  6. Miranda says:

    Well I guess I should say in full disclosure that I’m not a feminist, or better yet, I have nothing in common with the Gloria Steinem-burning bras-NOW-white women who dont give a fuck about black women-feminists.

    That being said, I dont think any reporter should be in the locker room at all until all players are fully dressed. Its just common sense, but since the system in place has decided its ok for reporters to roam around half-naked and naked men many of whom are in their early 20s and just coming off the playing field – then let the chips fall where they may. I know, I know…shocking that a woman would say that right? Nope, not really…every black woman I know gave this woman the side-eye. I’m not condoning men acting like they have no self-control, but this whole situation is rubbing me the wrong way (no pun intended). Something is not right with the accusations, something is amiss – call it a sistah’s intuition. I’m getting a “bad mandinka!” vibe and I’m never wrong about these things.

  7. Origin says:

    I hear you sista Miranda. See the thing that pisses me off with all of this is how often black women are treated like shit and when they scream harrasment it is never addressed. Unless the culprit is a black male.

    If a sista dressed like Ms. Ines they would have called her out. If she appeared in an outfit with her breast out and a short shirt where you could dang near see her draws. As Ms. Ines did on Good Morning America they would have called her out.

    And in saying that the media never runs to the defense of black women. Heck I even pointed out last year that the only reason they ran to defense of Jason Richardson’s fiance was because they thought she was white. She had the complexion for the protection and they had no idea that she was actually a black woman. Remember when the sista said that people in Nascar were treating her unfairly. You heard nothing from Nascar or the media. And those women groups said nothing about the sista.

    So like you sista Miranda I say screw those female groups….they have no love for black women. Heck I would argue they have no love for women in general……..just look how they ignored the Big Ben incident. What a bunch of scary punks!!!!!

  8. Origin says:

    Oh and every sista I spoke with gave Ms. Ines the side eye too!!!

    Man my wife was going at her hard when she first saw her doing the good morning america interview. I was telling her dang you might be being too harsh. She was like nope that woman is a hot mess.

  9. Shingo says:

    I’m sorry, it wasn’t Ines Sainz who wore a wedding dress during the Super Bowl Media Day, rather it was Ines Gomez Mont.

  10. Miranda says:

    Origin….your wife and I….like this *><*…….on the same wavelength. We know what's up.

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