Tag: sports

I care about women in sports, thanks in no small part to the U.S. women’s soccer team

Last night, the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) defeated Japan by a score of 5 to 2 to claim the third Women’s World Cup for the United States and the first one for the U.S. in 16 years.

While an estimate of how many people watched the FOX telecast of the Women’s World Cup final, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is not yet available, I was among the people who watched the Women’s World Cup final live, although I originally didn’t intend to. The start of the broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona International Speedway in Florida, which was televised by NBC, was scheduled at roughly the same time as the opening kickoff of the Women’s World Cup final, and, as a big NASCAR fan, I originally intended to watch the NASCAR race live and watch the soccer game late at night via DVR. However, because rain delayed the start of the NASCAR race by over three hours, I ended up tuning into the soccer game live a couple of minutes after the start, right before Carli Lloyd scored the first of her three goals for the USWNT, and I ended up being able to watch the rest of the game live because the NASCAR race ended up starting well after the soccer game was over. I was not disappointed one bit by the soccer game, in fact, I’m absolutely excited that our nation’s women’s soccer team are, once again, the world champions of women’s soccer.

I hope that the incredible success of the USWNT in this year’s Women’s World Cup leads to a greater public acceptance, and a greater level of respect, for female athletes in all sports.

Usually, the only instances where female athletes get any significant level media attention in this country is when the Olympic Games are taking place, when the major tennis championships are taking place, when Danica Patrick runs in automobile races, and…you guessed it…when the Women’s World Cup of soccer is taking place. This is one of a number of reasons why women’s sports have not been accepted by as much of the American public as men’s sports have. I’m fortunate to have an expensive enough satellite television package where I can, during the winter months in non-Winter Olympic years, find women’s bobsled, skeleton, and curling on television. When female athletes do get a significant level of media attention in this country, it’s often in a sexist manner. When the sports media covers female athletes, they often talk about subjects like the athletes’ love/sex lives or whether or not they have kids, subjects that have nothing to do with an athlete’s performance and the sports media rarely talks about in regards to male athletes.

I hope the U.S. women’s soccer team’s World Cup victory leads to less misogyny towards, and more acceptance of, female athletes in all sports.

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My April Fools blog post has received over 4,000 views, over 1,000 Facebook shares, and international attention

Early this morning, I published a satirical April Fools blog post about Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature wanting to legally ban curling in Wisconsin. In reality, Wisconsin Republicans currently have no intention of banning curling in the Badger State, so curling is safe in Wisconsin, at least for now.

However, my April Fools blog post has received an unusually large amount of attention for a small-time blog like The Progressive Midwesterner. In fact, my April Fools post has received, by far, the most attention of any blog post I’ve written in this blog’s history. My April Fools post has received¬†over 4,000 page views, has been shared over 1,000 times on Facebook, and has even received international attention via a favorable review of my post in an online article by Yahoo! Sports Canada. Don Landry, the author of the Yahoo! Sports Canada piece on curling-related April Fools jokes, wrote that I did a “nice job” with my April Fools post, and he also praised me for “densifying it with the kind of paragraph you’d expect to see in a typical legislative story and the interest groups involved in its debate”.

The Progressive Midwesterner will resume its normal operation of providing commentary on actual political and non-political happenings in Illinois, Wisconsin, and elsewhere tomorrow.

Did Ohio State football violate NCAA rules on selling memorabilia once again?

In tomorrow night’s College Football Playoff (CFP) championship game, the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University will face off against the Ducks of the University of Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

While the CFP title game in the Jerrydome hasn’t gotten as much media attention as the NFL playoffs, most notably the Packers/Cowboys NFC Divisional game which will take place on the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay in a couple of hours, I do want to bring attention to an apparent violation of NCAA rules by Ohio State.

I came across this tweet by an Auburn University football fan containing a set of four pictures of a Ohio State jersey signed by quarterback Braxton Miller, who is currently a member of the Ohio State football team, but will not play in the CFP title game due to the fact that he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery:

Since Miller is still a member of the Ohio State football team, Miller may have violated NCAA rules that prohibit student-athletes in NCAA-sanctioned collegiate sports from selling official jerseys, other types of sports gear, and awards while a member of the team. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from profiting off of sales of memorabilia and awards, and disciplinary action can range anywhere from a mandatory donation to charity to the player being suspended or declared ineligible to sanctions, such as bans from postseason play, against the player’s team.

This isn’t the first time an Ohio State player sold memorabilia while a member of the school’s football team. In 2010, when Terrelle Pryor, now the quarterback for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, was a college football player for Ohio State, he and four of his college teammates were caught selling jerseys, championship rings, and trophies to a tattoo dealer, which resulted in Pryor and the other four players being suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season.

The NCAA should definitely investigate whether or not Braxton Miller violated NCAA rules prohibiting memorabilia sales.

Four Minnesota newspapers publish full-page ad calling for transgender people to be banned from playing sports

An anti-transgender group called the Child Protection League (CPL) paid for a full-page ad in four Minnesota newspapers calling for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), the governing body of high school sports in Minnesota, to reject a proposal to allow transgender athletes to participate in high school sports in Minnesota and ban transgender athletes from participating in Minnesota high school sports.

The ad ran in Duluth, Mankato, St. Cloud, and Winona newspapers covering parts of northeastern, central, south central, and southeastern Minnesota.

These ads amount to anti-transgender bigotry, right-wing fearmongering, and hate speech being published in Minnesota newspapers. Unlike the anti-transgender bigots, I firmly believe that transgender people should be allowed to play in sports with athletes of the same gender identity (i.e., transgender people who identify as male should be allowed to play on boys’/men’s teams, and transgender people who identify as female should be allowed to play on girls’/women’s teams).