Should girls stop watching sports?

Bonnie Erbe thinks so.

The article is about the incident with Erin Andrews, the ESPN reporter who was filmed, while naked, through a peephole in her hotel room. This has caused a national outrage. Though some have blamed Ms. Andrews herself (partially unfairly and partially not, that’s a separate issue) and others have blamed everyone, most of the outrage is directed at men, culture, or sports.

Ms. Erbe’s decides to blame all three.

In her piece entitled, “Erin Andrews Peephole Video Scandal Shows Pro Sports Culture is Nothing But Bad”, Erbe agrees with another writer who says, “It’s about men being men at their worst. It’s about the false notion that it’s OK to be intolerable and horny and barbaric because it’s all part of the guy sports experience. It’s our right, right?”

Um…no. Nobody believes that. This is typical however, but Erbe’s main point is summed up nicely.

I wish women would stop propping up men’s sports. If women didn’t attend NFL games or NBA games, or even watch them on TV to help drive up ratings, they would be doing more to stop men from behaving badly than they could ever do otherwise. If they encouraged their sons to play sports instead of paying to watch other people play baseball or football or basketball or soccer, they would be sending the message that athleticism is good, but pro sports culture is bad. And it is, nothing but bad.

This makes no sense. Can we not just hold individuals accountable without denigrating an entire culture? What if you classified a whole racial group in this way? Sports culture has nothing to do with encouraging men to “behave badly.” There are parts of all culture that are “good” and “bad”, but you call those things out as they happen. It’s not like sports is intended for something bad.

“And [sports culture] is nothing but bad.” Is she serious? What exactly is “sports culture”? I suppose if you define it as denigrating towards women than there is no way around it being bad, but who defines it that way except people like this? Besides that, her point about “encouraging” their sons to play sports instead of watching sports contradicts her point: If there is “nothing but bad” in pro sports culture, why encourage anyone to play sports at all?


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