There must be a secret society in the US these days with a name so long that even its acronym is a mouthful; the SOPSLTBPOAAAE:
- The Society Of People Spring-Loaded To Be Pissed Off About Anything And Everything.
[Aside: I believe at least 75% of the folks in the US Congress are officers in this secret society – – but that is another rant.]
These folks can find affront in just about any human act or utterance; and when they find affront in something harmless and pin their affront to a meaningful issue, what they do is to diminish the import of the meaningful issue. These are sports rants and not sociological rants so I’ll just state categorically that sexism exists in US society and that sexism is not something that needs to be preserved in US society. Having said that, the St. Louis Cardinals were accused of sexism in a Tweet they sent out regarding a promotion for a game later this week. Here is the deal:
- On May 17, the Cardinals were going to give away replicas of the 1967 World Series ring given to that Cards’ championship team.
Such a giveaway would not make me drop everything and change whatever plans I may have had for that day to rush to the ballpark to get my hands on one of those treasures, but it is not something that it out-or-line for a baseball promotion. Now here is the Tweet that SOPSSLTBPOAAE found to be sexist:
“You love baseball, she loves jewelry. On May 17, it’s a win-win.”
That Tweet was characterized as “awash in some impressively casual sexism.” You can read here why that is a sexist remark…
Now, if one wanted to focus attention on something that has a far greater foundation of sexism, one might prefer to focus on a recent report that the Oakland Raiders reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought against it by members of The Raiderettes who charged that they were not paid a minimum wage for their efforts as team cheerleaders. If the Tweet above was “awash in impressively casual sexism”, then the existence of scantily-clad female cheerleaders is “impressively actual sexism” and paying those women less than the legal minimum wage to do what they do is a manifestation of the economic principle of paying women less than they are worth when they do a job.
The Raiderettes were the first NFL cheerleading team to assert that they were not paid a minimum wage; subsequent to their lawsuit, other NFL teams have been defendants in similar legal actions. In the settlement announced last week, the Raiders will pay $1.25M to about 100 women who were Raiderettes between 2010 and 2014. You can read about more of the settlement details here. This lawsuit and its ultimate resolution is a small step in the direction of minimizing/eliminating sexism as it relates to women in the workplace but before anyone attaches too much significance, please consider:
- The Raiders fought this suit for about 3 years through several levels of California state courts. If they were not represented by “My Cousin Vinnie”, they probably paid a significant fraction of the ultimate settlement amount in legal fees. $1.25M is a lot of money if you are talking about the balance in my IRA; it is not a lot of money when you are talking about an NFL franchise. Did this resolution have to be deferred 3 years and require the intervention of various courts to get to this end-point? Perhaps the decision to fight this action tooth-and-nail is an example of something “awash in impressively actual sexism”.
- The underlying basis of sexism here – the display of scantily-clad females on the sidelines during a football game – remains intact. Given the silence from the SOPSLTBPOAAAE about that, I can only assume they do not know about it.
I read a report about the Philadelphia Eagles signing an undrafted free agent and immediately thought about the fact that Chris Berman was no longer doing NFL studio commentary for ESPN. Given Berman’s penchant for giving silly nicknames to players I will take the liberty of channeling him here:
- Today the Eagles signed free agent CB from UCLA, Randall Goforth – – and Multiply. [ / Chris Berman ]
Sometimes, you read a couple of sentences and it gives you all you really need to know about a subject. You know there is more to the story, but you also know that you really do not need to delve any deeper. Greg Cote found an example of such a situation in the Miami Herald over the weekend:
“The owners of video porn site X-Art.com are suing former Heat star Chris Bosh over the rental of his California waterfront mansion. The plaintiffs claim the luxury abode contained, among other problems, rat poop. No, seriously.”
Finally, here is a question posed by Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“With tennis star Maria Sharapova back from her 15-month drug ban, the question is this: Will she return to superstar form, or will she be just another grunt?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports ………