By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Everybody knows by now about the Erin Andrews incident—in which the model-gorgeous ESPN reporter was videotaped in the nude, allegedly through a keyhole in the door to her hotel room. Stills from the video were published by The New York Post, among other media outlets. Some online news outlets even ran pieces of the video.
ESPN then banned New York Post sports reporters from its TV shows. The story exploded anew after that, with a second round of echo-chamber effect in the blogosphere. Everyone has an opinion. That's the Wild West we today call the blogosphere. There have even been suggestions by little-known bloggers Andrews arranged to make the video as a publicity stunt.
I agree with Seattle Times staff columnist Jerry Brewer, whose article is entitled, "Erin Andrews nude video is a sick crime; when will men grow up?"
The Andrews incident has largely been labeled an Internet scandal (blame it on the blogs, huh?), but really, it's a sports culture scandal. 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?
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.
I am well aware this suggestion is the stuff of fantasy. That said, I never have understood why women participate in male sports culture, and then turn around and criticize it when something bad emanates from it. It's a waste of time, pure and simple.
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