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Archive for May, 2013

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately on the role that sports plays in life, a lot of this due to my own recent attempts at finding a procrastination method for exams.  The UK Open is coming up, you say? So are my essay deadlines?  Well, how convenient:

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In my opinion, this year has really been a disappointing one for the sports world.  There are a few positive notes; the NBA sees its first, openly gay, non-retired player in Jason Collins.  But then, there’s so many epic fails. Ronda Rousey’s debut in the UFC was met with one of three reactions:

1) Sure, why not?

1) She’s hot, so why not?

2) There’s a troubling undercurrent of aggression and defensiveness over women headlining a card.  Critics on facebook are complaining that the women’s fights will be all hair pulling and scratching (those aren’t even legal techniques) or that they aren’t skilled fighters (they are), or that they are skilled but not well rounded (potentially not so far, but was Royce Gracie well rounded in the first men’s UFC event? Give the ladies division a decade to develop and then come back to me if you don’t find them amazingly technical).

MMA fans apparently want MMA to both simultaneously be taken seriously as a legitimate sport but also be exclusively practiced by large toothless redneck men.  And this argument over women’s participation? While the NBA has a player come out of the closet?  Are we in the fifties again?  Is this the church of England?  How did we move so far backwards socially?    I’m embarrassed.

Sporting culture has become the last great bastion in the public sphere which sees such open expressions of people being intolerant or generally acting like ignoramuses (ignorami?).  What is it specifically about sports that brings out this side of its fans, or is it the fans that are themselves a special breed?

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