Sorry, Damon: I am one of the Guidance Counselors, Sensitive Males ruining sports
You have your choice of whom you want to refer to for your coverage of the Damon Bruce “feminization of sports” saga: friend of the blog Bay Area Sports Guy has had the business covered, and he notes multiple sites have caught notice of the rant, including now ESPN sports journalist Keith Olbermann:
I know you’ve seen the title of the article, but let us not kid that we know the population that is being targeted with all this: women. Women will be in a fight for who knows how long just to prove the sports sandbox is not a “Men Only” sandbox, but that if you enjoy sports, or if you have an informed opinion about sports, you should be able to play in that sandbox, too. Women have had, have, and will have a hell of an uphill battle, and if the male gender can get over their insecurities of whether or not They Are A Man, that, I believe will decide how quickly women can be equals on the sports.
This idea of what it takes to be a man, thus, makes “sensitive males” or guidance counselors, therapists, psychologists, natural targets for the so-called “wussification” of sports. Let me begin with the sensitive males piece — I’m not one anybody would consider emotionally strong. With the spotlight on me at community events or family events I have been seen crying multiple times, a sign of weakness to A Man or those that have an idea of what A Man should be, no doubt. I take what people say personally, and I hold grudges against people that have made what I perceived as stupid, insensitive moves towards me, my wife, my friends, or my family. I believe that the sense of right and wrong should carry more weight than “the way it’s always been” mentality, and that irks a lot of people, mainly people that have problems with change. My sensitivity towards what’s right and what’s wrong will clash with sports world quite often, and if it were up to me a lot of times, people would probably hate me for coddling sports players from the dangers of the game. I issue no apologies for thinking about player safety.
As a guidance counselor, even in my first three months of work, I’ve received a couple complaints on bullying. There is a “snitches get stitches” mentality out there, and so students don’t want to turn into a kid that will be publicly shamed, and I can see where that comes from. I am not saying the rhyme isn’t true, but I will say that it is not helping, and it is something I am busy combating. The number one priority for a school should be that their students feel safe on their campus. If a student does not feel safe due to another person, I want to know that information, and I want to help intervene, since that process will normally get handed off to a vice/assistant principal. If students do not feel safe on campus, how can they concentrate on their work? How can they concentrate on their day-to-day life? Are they considering self-harm due to their feeling of not being able to tell anybody? If a student offs him/herself but never snitched, is there any reasonable human being out there that’s going to say, “At least s/he was not a snitch.” Absolutely not. It is rather, “What could we have done to help this student?” If a football player came to me and said, “Mr. Jones, student XYZ has been saying things comparable to Incognito,” I, and any other counselor that cares about their student, will stop what they’re doing to take record of the student’s complaint, and speak about ways of dealing with these actions if the school is unable to lay it down on student XYZ. I will not worry that football is a big money maker or that if you can’t handle a little hazing, get out of the locker room. So what if a student “can’t handle” what another kid is dishing out, does that take away what the student that issued the complaint can contribute to society? Sports may be life to some, but life should be above sports for all.
I am proud to waive a red flag more often than radio hosts like Damon Bruce when I believe something may not be right. I believe the profession I am in contributes to the advancement of society through the students on the campus I work at. If that costs the Man Card to take a hit every other day, so be it. I have no interests in your insecurities and douchebaggery. Everybody should be able to define being themselves in their own way — there is not a checklist for being A Man in character. I am sorry I’m ruining sports with my feelings, Damon Bruce, but I’m not going anywhere.
Oh, and, women aren’t going away, either. Let it be known that I will make it a point to smile when you, Damon Bruce, are replaced by a woman. A more than capable, more than competent, respectable sports fan with feelings woman.