Thursday, August 31, 2000

Here endeth the lesson

I take it McEnroe's comments are by way of a reply to the WNBA's "We're Better Than You" campaign. I don't know if that's really the case, but I hope it's something other than jealousy over the fact that women's tennis is more popular than men's at the moment. Is he trying to provoke another Riggs v. King match between himself and Serena? Women's sports always get dogged for being inferior to men's. I don't get it. Sure, men and women are different, it's hardly an earth-shattering bit of news. Is that a reason though to dismiss women's sports? People write these elegiac odes to sports and go on about the will to win, the dedication to excellence, the discipline to train, the honor of taking one for the team, performing under pressure, refusing to lose, ad nauseum ... all the things that are supposed to make sports about more than just playing a game for money. Is McEnroe implying that these qualities are unique to men? Despite the WNBA's slogan, I don't think anyone is saying we should watch women's sports because the female athletes are as strong or fast as male athletes. It bothers me to keep hearing claptrap like McEnroe's and all the fat-assed guys who call in to sports talk shows to argue that they could beat Cynthia Cooper at one-on-one or wipe the court with Venus Williams. Dismissing the female athlete's training, dedication, and achievements is like saying that one half of humanity is excluded from being representative of the qualities we admire in athletes. It's bigoted and mean-spirited. Am I getting preachy? I must be. I just heard Sean Connery's voice from the Untouchables in my head: "Here endeth the lesson." That's how I'm going to end all my morally outraged posts from now on. Here endeth the lesson.
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