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Check out this 8 yr. old girl, Sam Gordon, playing football. WOW

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In a public rant, UCLA Coach Jim Morra let his misogyny flag fly and no one called him out on it.

When UCLA safety Randall Goforth’s Twitter account was hacked and the imposter insulted rival players, Gorforth’s coach, Jim Morra, was beyond furious. In a media conference to clear Goforth’s name, Morra let out a deluge of insults, within 2 minutes and 47 seconds calling the hacker: knucklehead, idiot, sickening, lowest form of lifeform, scumbag, coward, and a girl.

Wait…a girl?

Let me get this straight: Morra is thinking of the absolute worst names he can call someone, “lowest form of lifeform” included, and “girl” is his finale? Morra says this in a news conference, no less, and everyone just lets that fly by. Is misogyny that normal in 2012, in America? Not only in the football world but to everyone listening?

Sports talk radio is on frequently in my house. Not to mention regular talk radio. I don’t want my kids hearing an authority figure think of the absolute worst things he can call someone, right after saying the guy should go to jail, and then calling him a girl. What are they supposed to think about that?

Hey, Coach Morra, I understand that you’re angry. But don’t equate unethical behavior and cowardice with femininity. There is no connection. Don’t proclaim your misogyny publicly and self-righteously. That is really scummy.

Good morning. I just want to address one thing and that’s the false twitter stuff going on there that someone attributed to Randall Goforth. It is absolutely 100% not Randall. I’ve talked to Lane Kiffin. He’s talked to his guys. I’ve talked to my guys. It’s a total non-issue. Some knucklehead’s out there trying to stir it up So it’s been shut down. Randall was in tutoring session when this idiot was tweeting. It’s ridiculous. The power of the social media is amazing and when it’s used for negative, in a negative way it’s sickening. So that’s it

(Media – Chris Foster: How do you really feel about it?)

I think it’s a frickin’ joke that somebody would do that. I think you’re the lowest form of lifeform if you would portray yourself as a young man, an 18 year old young man trying to do his best. Trying to stir it up like that. Attributing comments to him that aren’t his. I think he ought to go to jail. That’s how I feel. I think you’re a scumbag.

(Media: what do you think would be an appropriate sentence?)

Bring his ass out here.

(Media: You’ll put him to work?)

We won’t put him to work. He won’t make it very far with this team.

(Media – Foster: I think you’re limiting your chances of him actually showing up)

Yeah, because he’s a coward That’s what cowards do, cowards hide behind print.

(Media – Foster: Print? Excuse me?)

That’s what Twitter is, right? It’s print.

(Media – Foster: Maybe be a little clearer on that , please)

You know what I meant

(Foster laughing: I know)

Yeah, I challenge that guy to come on out here. Whoever he is. He won’t though. He’s a coward. Or a girl, whoever it is.

A day later, Morra acknowledged he went overboard, not with the sexism but in saying the hackster should go to jail. In reporting that, ESPN.com along with everyone else, still didn’t mention the misogyny at all.

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There’s a photo going around the web:

The caption reads: What if every sport was photographed like beach volleyball?

I’m glad the post is circulating.  I was blown away by the sexism in the Olympics twelve years ago when I wrote about it for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Did you read that part about 12 years ago? I thought things would be better by now.

So has anything changed?

Honestly, the rampant sexism seems even worse to me now than it did then.

I suppose in 2012 more people are actually talking about the sexism, acknowledging it, possibly due to social media. Awareness has to come before change, right? Maybe we’re moving into the awareness phase. That’s the best spin I can come with, because otherwise, things look pretty bad to me.

Here’s what I wrote for The Chronicle in 2000. Tell me if you think things are any different.

In the photo she’s wearing a tight two-piece suit. Legs parted, head thrown back, eyes closed, she smiles.

The woman is not a Playmate of the Month but Olympic high jumper Amy Acuff in Esquire magazine’s cover story/pictorial entitled “America’s Ten Sexiest Athletes.” But on closer examination, Amy is not lying down; she is jumping.

A perusal of recent issues of men’s magazines reveals the latest sex symbol is the female athlete.

Sports Illustrated features Olympic swimmer Jenny Thompson topless with her hands covering her breasts. And Gear has a photo of the Australian women’s soccer team, all players completely naked with their arms and legs placed strategically.

It’s no coincidence that this fascination with women athletes as soft-core porn stars comes right as women are making enormous strides in achieving parity with men in the Olympics. One step forward, two long jumps back.

At the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, more women will compete in more sports with more media coverage than ever before. With 4,400 participants, women will represent a record 42 percent of the competitors. Most exciting, women will be competing in what were once exclusively male domains. New categories for women include weightlifting, pole vaulting, water polo, tae kwon do and the triathlon.

But the slew of wet T-shirt pictorials reveals a powerful cultural bias. The American public is still uncomfortable seeing women as successful athletes and celebrating them for embodying the qualities that athletes possess. Magazines like Maxim are undermining hard-won progress by reducing all female competition to just another beauty contest.

Athletes are valued for what their bodies can do, not how they look.

Athletes are competitive, ambitious and they know how to win, but those attributes just aren’t ladylike. Photographing sports superstars in lace panties and sheer camisoles keeps them safely inside the parameters of womanhood.

While girls learn early on they will be judged for their looks, boys learn that athleticism equals attractiveness. Ever since high school, the jocks were the big men on campus, a guy’s skill made him hot and the best player sealed his status by getting the prettiest girl.

The grown-up world isn’t much better. Male athletes are worshipped for their achievements. Joe DiMaggio won Marilyn Monroe, and that wasn’t because he looked good in his uniform.

For women, athletic skill doesn’t equal desirability. In a capitalist world, the girl with the most money wins. Blond and buxom tennis star Anna Kournikova makes $11 million to $15 million in endorsements, though she has never won a professional tournament. Her earnings equal those of Martina Hingis, who has earned her money by winning 26 career titles, and are much more than 43-time winner Monica Seles’ $7.5 million or defending U.S. Open champ Serena Williams’ $6 million.

Even a pretty female player isn’t valued like a male player. Tiger Woods gets $47 million; Michael Jordan, $40 million, and 70-year-old Arnold Palmer makes $19 million.

The excuse is that men make big money because their sports make more money from television contracts, but it’s all a vicious circle. When women aren’t valued for their skills, aren’t trained properly and aren’t celebrated the way male athletes are, they’re at a severe disadvantage.

While many call this just bad luck, the law calls it illegal. More than 20 years ago, Title IX, which demanded gender equity in sports funding, began to be enforced. A generation of women growing up under it is a major reason why female athletes have been able to make the advances they have.

Even with this law, females make up only one third of interscholastic and intercollegiate athletes.

Summer 2000′s gold medal favorite, Stacy Dragila, was once told women don’t have the upper body strength to pole vault. Today, pole vaulting is the most popular new women’s event, with Dragila holding the world record.

For reaching that record last summer, Dragila got only half the $60,000 prize money that men get for the same competition. But, she was able to generate more income and media coverage for her sport by posing with other track and field women for a sexy calendar.

Athletics should be the one place where there truly is a meritocracy, where women are rewarded for how high they can jump, how fast they can run or how much they can lift. But once again, the rules are different for women.

This summer, along with their shotputs and discuses, female Olympic competitors will need lipstick, good lighting and lingerie if they want to get the gold.

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Saudi Arabia won’t allow its female athletes to compete in the Olympics. The International Olympic Committe has a policy not to allow participatory countries to discriminate.

So why hasn’t the IOC banned Saudi Arabia?

The Guardian reports:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday faced calls to ban Saudi Arabia from London 2012 after the country’s Olympic chief ruled out sending women athletes to the Games.

The Saudi Olympic Committee president Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said he was “not endorsing” female participation in London as part of the official delegation.

Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), said that was unacceptable. Tibballs said: “Saudi Arabia’s current refusal to send sportswomen to the Olympics puts them directly at odds with one of the IOC’s fundamental principles as laid out within the Olympic Charter.

“It reads that ‘any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement’.

“If today’s reports are to be believed, we would expect the IOC to defend the Olympic Charter and exclude Saudi Arabia from IOC membership and the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

The IOC excluded Afghanistan from the Sydney 2000 Olympics due to its discrimination of women under the Taliban regime. “The IOC needs to send a clear message to Saudi Arabia that they will not tolerate continued gender discrimination,” Tibballs added.

In 1964, South Africa was banned from participating in the summer Olympics in Tokyo because of the country’s racist Apartheid government. That ban lasted until 1992, when South Africa’s white-only government passed a referendum that approved the reform process.

I just blogged about how women’s rights around the world are still considered a ‘cultural’ issue and not a political one.

Women, like all human beings, are entitled to full human rights

A major reason that South Africa ever changed its racist government was because the country was condemned by the global community. Gender Apartheid cannot be tolerated and ignored by the rest of the world or it will never stop.

The Women Sports and Fitness Foundation has a petition on Change.org. As of this posting, it only has 32 signatures. Please add your name to the petition now.

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Here’s a question I can’t wait for my daughter to hear:  “If you can’t celebrate finding a leopard print bag on sale at Kohl’s, what CAN you celebrate?”  I mean, really, what else is there?  Especially for someone as decorated and lauded as sensational athlete and gold medal soccer player Mia Hamm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xl5aP_fKBo  Kohl’s new “Shop to Win” campaign features Mia, Lindsey Vonn (Olympic gold medalist and world class skier) and Dara Torres (Olympic gold medalist and international swimmer), describing the intensity and thrill of competition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAOSB3jtz7k&feature=relmfu  In the sport of… shopping.  In 31 seconds all of their hard work and successes have been cheapened.

Ladies, you have become conspirators in advertising’s new sexist low.  Girls around the world who worship these symbols of incredible sacrifice in making a dream come true can now shoot for the grand goal of:  scoring a killer deal shopping?  Is that the message they really want to send to younger girls?  And how does this campaign help their athlete sisters, fighting for recognition from men, when their message is effectively, “Thank God all that sporty stuff is done so we can get down to what we REALLY want to do – SHOP!” The ad campaign must have been conceived at Sterling Cooper Draper Price.   Right?

Wrong – Lindsey loves the campaign. Check out her interview with Bloomberg TV telling the interviewer Kohl’s fits with her image because, you know, we girls have GOALS when we shop and like to feel like we are WINNING!  http://mobile.bloomberg.com/video/88881222/  If you are still unconvinced that this is the real Lindsey Vonn, her explanation of sponsor choice reveals her true colors.   It’s not all about the money apparently–I mean, Red Bull provides a trainer and a massage therapist that travel with her, and Vail Resorts has a training camp named after her. And, y’know, like, that’s what matters.

Heaven help us when a smart real female role model comes along and says I like myself for who I am and screw anyone who wants to paint me into a dumb pretty girl corner.

See my post on SFGate about this campaign and the gender discrimination in endorsement options offered to male versus female athletes.

Tell Koh’s how you feel about its new ad campaign on its Facebook page.

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OK, people, we are making it into mainstream America. How exciting is this?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a new study that only 2 – 3% of preschoolers spend their day playing. The problem with this?

Kids learn through play. When kids play, they’re not wasting their time. They’re learning everything from motor skills to social skills and numbers. Think of all the counting that comes with hopscotch, or with making two even teams. Those activities are a lot more fun than flash cards, but they teach the same thing: math. Kids playing outside also learn things like distance, motion, the changing of the seasons—things we take for granted because we got time outside.

This study is about vigorous play, so not the kind of LEGO play I’ve been blogging about, but the principle is the same: play affects brain development. I also love the emphasis put on active play because I think this is so important for girls, especially to learn healthy risk-taking. Read more about it here.

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I’m not into college football. I’ve never snapped towels in the shower. But I continue to be blown away by the distorted reality of this subculture.

The email McQueary sent to a friend — obtained by the Associated Press, reads as follows:

“You are the first person I have told this … and I don’t know you extremely well … and I have been told bye (sic) officials to not say anything ….”

“I did stop it, not physically … but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room … I did have discussions with the official at the university in charge of police … no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds…trust me.”

“Do with this what you want … but I am getting hammered for handling this the right way … or what I thought at the time was right … I had to make tough impacting quick decisions.”

What is “tough” in the decision to stop the rape of a child and report the crime to police? Am I missing something?

Sandusky went on national TV with Bob Costas. The Washington Post reports:

On Monday night, Sandusky said in an NBC television interview that he showered with and “horsed around” with boys but was innocent of criminal charges, a statement that has stunned legal observers. Sandusky’s comments, they said, could be used by prosecutors trying to convict him of child sex-abuse charges.

“Mr. Sandusky goes on worldwide television and admits he did everything the prosecution claims he did, except for the ultimate act of rape or sodomy? If I were a prosecutor, I’d be stunned,” said Lynne Abraham, the former district attorney of Philadelphia. “I was stunned, and then I was revolted.”

“I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact,” Sandusky told Bob Costas. “I am innocent of those charges.”

When Costas asked him whether he was sexually attracted to underage boys, Sandusky replied: “Sexually attracted, no. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.”…

“What was especially astonishing about Sandusky’s interview is — and this will be the big moment in court — is when he stumbled over the question about whether he was sexually attracted to children,” said crisis management expert Eric Dezenhall, who runs a Washington consulting firm. “That may not be legal proof that he’s guilty, but it is certainly not helpful, to struggle with the question.”

As with Paterno’s offensive and shocking retirement statement, none of these men seem to have much of a clue about right and wrong.

Strategies on how parents can help to prevent child abuse here. The basic message is talk to your kids.

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