During a recent press conference, when asked a question from a female journalist, Cam Newton-quarterback for the Carolina Panthers-replied, "It's funny to hear females talk about routes."
After hearing this comment, I was both shocked and outraged. Why is a female being mocked for simply "doing her job"? Even worse, why is it considered "not normal" to hear women comment about sports? As both a sports fan and a girl, I'd just like to say: Cam Newton, your "joke" of a comment could not be more backward.
Since the moment I was born, I have been a devout New York sports fan--including my love for the New York Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks. My childhood revolved around watching "Yankeeographys" on YES Network, "Greatest Moments" at the Garden, and ESPN highlights 24/7. Why? Well, this is the kind of childhood you have when you're surrounded by boys in a sports-obsessed family.
Not only have I attended a multitude of sporting events but I've also immersed myself in the games I truly love to watch. For a majority of my life, I have played competitive softball. From there, tossing a rubber ball as a toddler turned into complete throws from third base at the age of eight.
I had fallen in love with the sport that surrounded my childhood-the sport which every one of my family members either had a knowledge of or has even played themselves. So, tell me, Cam Newton, do you really think this is wrong?
Newton's comment about women "talking sports" emphasizes one such sexist generalization: that all women are clueless to both the game and its rules.
Therefore, a woman at a baseball, football, or hockey game cannot possibly understand what is going on; it is supposed she either got dragged to the event by her boyfriend, friend group or family or she came only to scope out all the "cute athletes." Not only is this stereotype inherently sexist but it is one of the most ridiculous implications hidden beneath Newton's supposed "sarcasm."
Some of the most entertaining fans I meet at games are women, who cheer, boo, and yell the same if not louder than their male counterparts.
By living away from home, it is more difficult for me than ever to go to the Bronx for a Yankees game. Yet, I've spent the last few weeks keeping up with my team on internet livestreaming. Most likely, I'm watching a baseball game in a room with more boys than girls, supporting my Yankees as game by game, they get closer and closer to their next World Series (I hope).
A girl who loves sports shouldn't be looked at as weird, or not normal. I've known this game all my life, I think to myself, who cares if I'm a girl?
My guy friends don't care. In fact, they bond with me even more because I can have simple conversations with them about strategy, what players are good or ought to be traded, and highlights. For a true sports fan, these are the conversations we should encourage--a greater understanding of the game regardless of sex.
So Cam Newton, laugh at me all you want. I'm a girl who loves her New York sports teams, and there's nothing you can do or say to take that away.