After reading the attached article Jiggle Tests, Dunk Tanks and Unpaid Labor on a friend’s Facebook page this morning, I opted to postpone my morning writing sesh where I strive to bang out words for the next book. Needless to say reading this piece got me all fired up. This is abhorrent, disgusting, disturbing and beyond degrading, it’s completely unacceptable.
As a single father whose life mission is providing love, goodness and stability for my daughter, while teaching her core values in hopes of enhancing her sense of self, reading this Mother Jones expose fills my belly with indignation. And yet it’s all too predictable for a league that represents our modern day gladiators battling it out in front of a fanatical, often drunk, and irreverent fan-base. As many of you know I’m a sports guy, I grew up on it and in it. But I’m so tired of the machismo, misogynistic garbage that pervades our professional sports culture where fat, old, drunk, white men (yes I’m taking liberties here) gawk at cheerleaders—many of whom are barely 18 years old—throwing fuel on the fire of a language/cultural norm that is far too often degrading towards women.
But will this story make ESPN or any other major news source? Probably not. We get all riled up over the racist comments made by a dinosaur of a man in Donald Sterling (as we should because there can be ZERO tolerance for bigotry in the 21st century or the likes of Sterling and his ignorant beliefs) but where is the outrage here? They’ve expanded the NFL draft coverage to four days—a comical phenomenon that is even more absurd than the juvenile culture of fantasy football, which swells each season across the country—adding millions to their empire but NFL cheerleaders are objectified on a level bordering serfdom? I love my Seahawks, but I’m head and heels over the NFL. This is appalling and should outrage parents globally. It’s safe to say that football has become America’s game. What does that say about the status of our society when “America’s Game” objectifies women in such a disturbing way? It is well beyond time for us to rise up, speak out, and join forces to nurture, foster and build a society worthy of our daughters. That’s the word…
~Michael W. Leach