One aspect of the Olympics I always enjoy are the individual issues. Fiji won their first medal ever in their history of competing at the Olympics and the country was excited that even banks were closed during the event. An Egyptian lost to an Israeli in judo and refused to bow or shake his hand. The U.S. women’s soccer team was upset by Sweden and Hope Solo called their opponents “cowards.” Officials had to reschedule an event because the water in a pool was too nasty (I don’t think that was a Baby Ruth). That’s fun stuff.
Here in the U.S. everyone is talking about Michael Phelps and his history-making medal grab.
These are his fifth Olympics and even editorial cartoonists are drawing positive celebratory cartoons honoring him. I don’t play that. I wouldn’t be able to stomach drawing cartoons of jealous fish and a jealous Aquaman. Ugh!
The media has been so gaga over Phelps that the San Jose Mercury News stepped all over itself in reporting the accomplishments of another athlete.
Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming event at the games when she took joint first place in the 100-meter freestyle at Rio 2016. The Mercury News placed a headline on their website which read: Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American.
Yikes! Forget shes’ a person, has a name, earned a little praise all her own, and let’s just lament how Phelps has to share a little glory with a black girl.
Women have been kinda trampled on with the sexism at these games.
Gymnast Simone Biles (who has been incredible) was complimented by an NBC commentator with “I think she might even go higher than some of the men.” Apparently you can’t appreciate a female athlete’s ability without it being compared to men for perspective. This was heaped on top after one commentator said her adoptive parents are not her parents. That’s some serious stupidity.
The Chicago Tribune labeled two-time bronze medal-winning Corey Cogdell as “wife of a Chicago Bear’s lineman.” The paper had to refer to her as a wife, and didn’t matter which particular lineman’s wife….just that she was a wife. You haven’t seen Phelp’s girlfriend mentioned in any headlines.
Katy Ledecky broke a world record in the 400-meter freestyle and was given praise with: “Some people say she swims like a man.” That was once again given by someone at NBC. Maybe the network should have sent Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes to cover the games. Sheesh!
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu broke a world record in 400-meter individual medley (whatever that is) and the credit was given to her husband/coach. Again…NBC.
NBC, who is on a roll by at this point, referenced the cycling teams as “mens” and “girls.” Do I have to point it out?
While the U.S. gymnastics team was talking on the sidelines, NBC again, said “They might as well be standing around at the mall.” When the men are talking to each other where might as well could they be standing? A bar? Garage? Pool hall? A crotch scratching contest?
NBC explained their tape delay by saying it’s OK because most of their audience is women and they’re more into the reality TV aspect than the results.
A lot of people will say I’m being too politically correct over this. I don’t think so. I try to keep this stuff in mind and I’m sure I’ll stumble in this area in the future. We have a very sexist society to the point that most people aren’t even aware they’re doing it.
For example: Hillary Clinton shouts but you don’t hear anyone talk about Donald Trump shouting. Conservatives make jokes about Clinton’s physical appearance, yet for a man to be insulted for his looks he has to have a serious weight issue or extremely ridiculous hair that defies physics. I was out last week and heard two guys talk about Clinton’s age without being aware that Donald Trump is older. A lot of people are asking to see a report on Clinton’s health but not Trump’s (and there’s one person who could use a brain scan it’s Trump). I’m surprised we haven’t started about menopause yet.
We have another week of the Olympics and at some point I hope to start watching. Maybe the rest of the media should pay closer attention also…or just let Roger Ailes produce the event.
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