In case you have reservations about labelling Don Cherry a sexist blowhard

28 Apr

For those of you with any doubt, here’s why Don Cherry’s comments last night were inexcusably sexist.

1. For equality in the work place men and women need to have equal access. Female (and gender/sexual minority!) sports journalists can’t have barriers like their gender barring them from a room if they have a job to do. If you think someone’s gender or sexuality is going to get in the way of them doing their job, then well, that’s sexist.

2. Lots of guys jumped up to scream discrimination about how male reporters are not allowed into women’s locker rooms. This is, of course, a complete fabrication, as male reporters are indeed allowed in women’s locker rooms, in the same manner most reporters are allowed into locker rooms: after a certain amount of time to let the athletes actually get cleaned up. Of course, this is a really unbalanced comparison to make, because women’s sports receive no where near the coverage (and reporters no where near the salaries) of men’s sports.

3. The players might be uncomfortable. I haven’t seen a statement from a player that he is uncomfortable for reasons that we should be sensitive to, but lets say that there are some. Fortunately for this player, who has presumably spent his life in locker rooms, that the modern facilities of the NHL have rooms for showering and then the common area where you see those interviews. Anyone uncomfortable with the “opposite” gender near them at a vulnerable time like showering don’t have to worry about the lady reporters coming back to see them. Anyone uncomfortable with being interviewed by someone of the opposite gender the way Keith Duncan sounded-off is just being sexist (ie the criticism is about the reporter’s sex/gender).

4. After being confronted with these facts everyone suddenly thinks that just no reporters should be allowed in locker rooms. If we weren’t talking about the entertainment business, I might be inclined to agree. However, Bettman and every other person running a sports league is striving to create immersive, reality TV-style entertainment, and $ audiences $ are $ eating $ it $ up. The NHL actually has a show called 24/7 for cripes sake – are we really going to pretend that a woman accidentally seeing Kadri’s peen while he’s towelling off is the end of morality and enough to keep women from job parity? Give me a break.

At least my hero Ron McLean echoed this sentiment last night, this is surely one for the scrapbook:


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