The internet has been abuzz this morning debating the possibility the Royals may have intentionally played the song "American Woman" during the warm-up of Noah Syndaargard during game 2 of the Royals series with the Mets. There has been no outrage displayed by either Noah or the Mets themselves, but rather by others looking to champion a much greater cause than that of gamesmanship or the unwritten rules of baseball.
Craig Calcaterra is one of the higher profile writers to take up this torch, and has written a short article about the Casual Sexism in Baseball. Craig contends that the Royals were putting down women by inferring that Noah was somehow as weak as a woman or like a woman because of his flowing locks of golden hair.
Craig is right about one thing, sexism is a problem in America and it needs to be fixed. Much like many of the forms of discrimination currently thriving in the world today, sexism has managed to come a long way in becoming a thing of the past, but we as a society are no where near being able to claim victory. Every day, women are paid less for the same jobs, denied jobs because of their gender and treated differently because of their sex instead of the abilities they posses. Its real.
The problem with articles such as the one that Craig has written is that it is attempting to make a villain out of the wrong person, or in this instance, team. On the surface, his point seems to be valid. The Royals were comparing Noah to a woman. A weak, inferior to a man…woman. If that was truly the intent, to say that women are lesser than a man, then the Royals are of course wrong…but I don't think they were.
I believe the Royals may be guilty of an entirely different stigma more recently identified as plaguing society…bullying. Even this would be debatable, as the definition of a bully is someone who "uses superior strength to influence or intimidate, typically to force that person to do what one wants." The Royals didn't do anything with the intention of actually hurting anyones feelings, or to even intimidate, but it is debatable at least. I do not believe, however, they were in any way being sexist.
What they were doing was they were pointing out a difference. We do this all the time to goad our friends. Saying that someones hair looks like it came off of a chimp or any of the other NSFW things guys say to eachother on a daily basis is not meant to put down the person, group or object used for the example. The counter example to this would be if in a softball game, a team derided an opposing player as being a tom-boy or manly because she might have her hair cut short. They aren't saying that men are weak. They aren't saying that men are inferior to women. They are simply saying "you are not like us…you are different."
Bullying is by no means a LESSER atrocity…but it is not sexism. And neither is what the Royals did in playing a song goading an opposing pitcher. Noah, by the way, took the jab in good fun and seemed to have no ill will for the gesture. It was INTENDED to be good natured ribbing. A harmless troll job. One that might some day be returned when the Royals head to New York.
In the past, opposing teams have maybe kidded about Esky's braces, or Billy Butlers inability to run from home to first in less than 3 hours. Maybe they kid Hosmer, Moose or Rusty on their hair styles. Possibly Salvy's inability to speak coherent English…who knows. In the case of Noah Syndergaard it was that he had long flowing blonde hair. What is the the clearest example of what he looks like that isnt what he is? Had he had a pig nose, maybe they play Old McDonald instead…who knows.
It is hard enough in society to make jokes these days. Everything is wrong or offensive. Everything is against a group or person. Everything is somehow taken as a slight no matter the true intent. This isn't a call to bring down the PC police, this is simply a call for the PC police to more accurately choose their battles. Sexism and racism are REAL. And they hurt people every day. They need to be fixed, but pointing fingers and manufacturing an instance when it doesn't exist does the opposite of helping it go away, it gives fuel and fire to those who would lead us all to believe these problems don't exist.
Its quite possible that the Royals do not treat women the same as men. Its possible they are sexist, but this certainly isn't an example of it. This is good natured fun that hurt none of the parties involved, and America needs more of that these days, not less.
Arguably the best day of the year (not counting any of those days the Royals play in October) really started at about 6:45 when the Opening Day World Series Celebration started. One of the most glorious sights I've ever seen occurred as 2 KC firefighters ... Read more