Radio shlock jock Don Imus has joined a special corner of media hell. A corner occupied by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and all the other personalities who thought that one more twig of bigotry wouldn’t break the camel’s back. That’s what happens when you think it’s good fun to call
It’s hard to imagine Imus was helped by a show of support from his good friend John McCain. Now that the McCain-iac is done visiting
Or maybe not. This time Imus may have taken someone tougher and more tenacious than he. Her name is C. Vivian Stringer, and if he’s only known her as the coach of
This is also the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the legislation that was supposed to level playing fields between men and women. Its results have been remarkable. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, one in twenty-seven high school girls played sports 25 years ago; one in three do today. And young women who play sports are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, use drugs, or become depressed than other women are. This law has improved the quality of life for tens of millions of women around the country.
But for women–especially African American women–sports remains a place of denigration, not celebration. Swimsuit issues, cheerleaders, and beer commercial sexism, define women in the testosterone-addled sports world. There is an arsenal of homophobia and mockery sprayed at those who dare sweat, compete, and play hard. Every woman who has played sports and every man who has an athlete as a daughter has felt this inequity.
That’s why C. Vivian Stringer came out swinging. In Tuesday’s press conference, she said “It’s not about the
Her players did her proud. Team captain Essence Carson asked the assembled media, “Where were these major networks when the youth were making history for a prestigious university?” In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle,
Imus has found it is very easy to hit those without the ability or desire to fight back. He insulted Gwen Ifill and she chose to ignore his comment. Bill Rhoden refused to respond to Imus’ provocations. Imus has gotten a free ride on Islamaphobia because it has become the official policy of the crusading administration. But now he has taken on Coach Stringer, who won’t be silent.
And neither should we. If MSNBC won’t show Imus the door, we might have to give him a hearty push.
[Dave Zirin is the author of the "The Muhammad Ali Handbook" (MQ Publications) and the forthcoming "Welcome to the Terrordome:" (Haymarket). You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by going to http://zirin.com/edgeofsports/?p=subscribe&id=1. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org]