My love of sports was inculcated at an early age. If you read my very first post on Niners Nation, I mentioned how my parents were Bay Area Natives. In my family, sports fandom was part of our life. We didn't watch regular television series like other families, we watched sports. We went to games. We spent hours playing outside with KNBR in the background. Yes, I grew up with KNBR. I still listen often.
On Thursday, KNBR radio host, Damon Bruce was talking about the strange Richie Incognito - Jonathan Martin saga. Honestly, I find the whole story to be extremely bizarre. I am sick of hearing about the twisted details emerging from the Miami Dolphins locker room. The team needs a good psychologist to hammer that out. I am neither qualified nor interested in analyzing that nonsense.
In any event, Bruce defended Incognito and his sociopathic behavior as "manly." Sure, I have read some interesting takes by former players, explaining the dynamic and culture within the NFL locker room. But, Bruce took it to another level. He went on a ridiculous rant on how women are responsible for ruining sports. It is a huge leap, but yes -- Bruce believes this story has been exaggerated due to women's influence on sports. It doesn't make sense, but if you are so inclined to waste approximately 9-minutes, here is the link courtesy of Awful Announcing.
I enjoy many of the women's contributions to the sports -- well that's a lie [laughing]. I can't even pretend that's true. There are very few -- a small handful -- of women who are any good at this at all. That's the truth. The amount of women talking in sports to the amount of women who have something to say is one of the most disproportionate ratios I've ever seen in my life. But here's a message for all of them... All of this, all of this world of sports, especially the sport of football, has a setting. It's set to men.
Set to men. And, only "manly" men. Bruce further stated:
This is guy's stuff. This is men's stuff. And I don't expect women to understand men's stuff anymore than they should expect me to be able to relate to labor pains.
Women, ladies, sensitive guys, you're allowed to see how it operates... but we're not changing it to you
Bruce started the rant by emphasizing women cannot stomach the fact athletes get injured playing football. Apparently, he believes women do not have the emotional makeup to handle it. If you know about my medical-legal background, you can understand why I take exception. On this site, because of my background, I am asked to write about injuries. And yet, Bruce (who talks for a living) automatically disqualified me because of my gender. What a moron.
How would you feel if someone assumed you were less capable, because of what you are? Ideally, we all want to be judged by the merits of our work.
According to Bruce, I am not supposed to take offense. He slightly back peddled on Friday. Bay Area Sports Guy transcribed it here. Bruce stated his comments were not meant toward women, but his issue was the "feminization" of sports.
The feminization of sports? Ha.
It is not exactly a newsflash, but does Bruce know women are generally excluded from the sport itself? Women do not coach. Women are generally excluded from management and are largely refused positions in commentary and sports journalism. The few women who take part in sports are sexually objectified. Believe me, Damon Bruce -- women are not engaging in a hostile takeover of football. In fact, we're encouraged to buy pink shirts with our team's logo. Pink.
I understand Bruce has little to no respect for women in sports. I concede there are some females in sports who are terrible. It makes it a little harder for other women to establish credibility, but there are males who should not be in sports either. Somehow, every male is judged alone -- not melted into one category.
Bruce based his entire rant on the notion males should speak up as the pinnacle of masculinity. He believes sports prefers and accepts men like Incognito over men like Martin. Interestingly, after Wendy Thurm (the one example of a woman in sports he respected) transcribed his words and called him out, Bruce mocked the transcription as not grown up. So men should stand up for themselves in sports, but women should not?
Bruce embodies the laziest of criticisms. His attacks have nothing to do with the writing or sports knowledge of a particular writer (or group of writers), he only focuses on our appearance.
It has been suggested Bruce propagated this idea of male superiority for ratings. Is that supposed to make it all right? He is appealing to ignorance for ratings. He is willing to pass the limits of moral boundaries for ratings. Really KNBR?
Like I said, I grew up with KNBR. KNBR has been a personal source of education and entertainment. They have a lot of talented hosts and some are female. As a listener, it is disturbing. It is easy to criticize Bruce, but I am disappointed with KNBR. How can KNBR allow Bruce to propagate the notion women are inferior?
Maybe women are not the target audience of Damon Bruce or KNBR. But, whether Damon Bruce likes it or not, more women are bringing great ideas and stories to sports communities. Bruce unwittingly lit a fire under many females. He won't bully too many out of the sandbox we love. Get over it, Damon Bruce. Women cover sports too.