if you read this blog and you follow hockey you've almost certainly seen video of this incident elsewhere, and seen the debate over what the NHL should do about a dangerous hit like this. at first I thought almost no one was defending Cooke, not on Twitter or blogs I read, but as the comments piled up on the Puck Daddy piece on the hit, a lot of disgusting commenters showed up. the Boston Globe's Bruins blog commenters (and the comments section there--I read it after both Blackhawks-Bruins games this season--seems fairly reasonable) wasted a lot of space chastising the Bruins for not taking immediate retaliatory action (late in the season trying to secure a playoff spot, in a 2-1 game?). I wouldn't have been bothered by retaliation, and I won't mind at all if something happens when these teams meet again March 18, but the macho posturing and name-calling of the Bruins (and of any fan who didn't think they should have attacked right away), got tedious. anyway, I don't feel I have much to add to this discussion. friend of ALC, Bruins blog Hockey Gone Wild has this page cataloguing Matt Cooke's history of dirty hits now.
non-hockey but sports-related: I haven't tried to read much yet about recent rape allegations against a certain well-known football player, but on Twitter I stumbled across a link to this piece on the sports humor blog With Leather. um...it's not that I think the story is 100% off-limits mentioning on that site (and yes, I get the movie reference in the title), or Deadspin, but that piece is a complete and total misrepresentation of why rape happens (hint: it's NOT about being "allegedly horny"). the commenters, whether they think the incident may have happened or not, are as full of inane misunderstanding. I had to hold back to not put this all in caps with many exhortations to STFU.
there was a piece on the political blog Pandagon I had in mind for the next time a story like this broke. but I didn't think I'd have to use it for the exact same athlete (who I haven't named, to avoid this turning up in searches). from summer 2009: "Sports culture, rape, and why it’s not about being hard up". it dissects the common view, when a celebrity is accused of rape, that "he didn't have to rape, he could get any woman he wants."
and the final paragraph sums up things I think about a lot and rarely address here. (I agree with what she says, but would add that I see many female sports bloggers with similar "ugly views" and also using problematic language.)
The world of sports has a lot of great things to offer---I’m not even really a sports fan, but I can appreciate the thrill of competition, the wonder at the limits that the human body can push, the grace and skill of the athletes, the highs and lows for the fans. I am a political blogger, after all, and my enthusiasms aren’t that different. But for reasons that are admittedly complicated, the world of sports has also become a sanctuary for misogynists who want to let their hair down. It’s not just one thing that makes this so---the routine objectification and disdain for women’s full humanity you see in sports exists in all sorts of environments, from video gaming to business to rock music. But for some reason, when it comes to sports, it’s just heightened dramatically. In fact, it seems a lot of men love sports precisely because it’s a venue where they can just indulge some of their uglier views with the secure realization that no one will call bullshit.
well...time to lighten the mood up next with some relatively frivolous posts--a lot of exciting stuff has happened and overwhelmed me from writing much...