By Tank Spencer
The PC police are in full outrage mode these days and the sports world is not immune. This is not another Donald Sterling article, but that case clearly falls into that category. This past week two athletes received heavy criticism over things they said to the media, neither of which were important – nor worthy of the vast amount backlash and vitriol. Our sense of what IS important or worth raising our blood pressure appears to have diminished to next to nothing.
The first occurrence was Latvian tennis player Ernests Gulbis speaking to the media during the French Open. He was asked about the tennis careers of his sisters. He quickly replied he hoped his sisters didn’t choose to become tennis pros. He said, “I wouldn't like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It's tough choice of life.” “A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids.” “It’s tough for a woman, I think.” It’s that last part that no one has paid attention to. Typically when you have an opinion about something, you’re not ordering someone else to do anything.
It’s amazing the number of irrational, feminist males that took to the message boards and social media blasting Gulbis for thinking that starting and maintaining a family while staying competitive in an athletic world would be harder for the mother than the father. The knee-jerk “women can do anything a man can do and damn you for saying otherwise” reaction is not only irrational, it’s false. If it was true, women’s sports would be much more profitable.
The second “butt-hurt moment of the week” came when Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz responded to being hit by a pitch from Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price. Ortiz said after the game “it’s war.” This started (as Pete Kaliner says) the wheel of the perpetually offended spinning. Even J.P., whose service to our country in the U.S.M.C. is to be commended, had a knee-jerk reaction saying Ortiz shouldn’t try to compare a game to actual war.
I recommend we put all our Amelia Bedelia books away and think logically. Ortiz’s statement in no way likened getting hit by a pitch to being bombed in Fallujah. I hope these same people who took offense have never jokingly said “this means war” when they have been wronged in some way. I hope they’ve never played a game of “Tug of War” or the card games “War” or “Tegwar.”** The offended surely have never listened to “Love Is A Battlefield” and not been offended or uttered the words “he’s battling at the plate” or said someone “lost the battle but won the war” when referencing something trivial.
Get a grip people.
** If you're unfamiliar with the card game Tegwar... see "Bang The Drum Slowly" (1973) starring Robert DeNiro.