Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pink Backpacks Are So Gay

Posted by on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM

I didn't say anything about this story in yesterday's NYT because it's really not that important and I didn't want to leap on it and look like a scold or a killjoy or a GLAAD and, again, it's really not that big a deal. But with so many MLB teams making It Gets Better videos... I kindasorta feel kindasorta obligated to kindasorta say something about this:

In this tradition-bound sport, in which managers wear the same uniforms as the players and Cracker Jack can still be bought at concession stands, a hazing ritual that has gone on for years seems to have reached a new level of absurdity at major league ballparks: rookie relievers are being forced to wear schoolgirl backpacks—gaudy in color, utterly unmanly—to transport gear. “Everybody laughs at me,” said Bryan Shaw, a 23-year-old rookie reliever for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Before each game, he makes the long, painful walk to the bullpen toting a pink bag adorned with an image of a white unicorn. “They all yell, ‘Cute bag!’ ” he said.... “It’s just one more way to get at your rookie,” said Mets pitcher Tim Byrdak, 37. “You have to walk all the way across the field to get to the bullpen, so you make the rookie carry this pink bag, and you can kind of humiliate him.”

...

For much of this season, Michael Stutes of the Philadelphia Phillies was forced to wear a Hello Kitty backpack and a pink feather boa purchased by Brad Lidge, a 10-year veteran, during a road trip to San Francisco. “I thought it wasn’t right for Stutes to be carrying a plain black bag,” Lidge said. “I was in Macy’s shopping for my kids. I just knew we wanted something pink.”

The rookie is humiliated by being forced to carry a girl's bag—you know, a pink bag, like he's a big sissy or something.

Professional baseball players are grown men and one of the perks of being all grow'd up—one of the ways, sigh, it gets better—is that we become more secure in our sexualities and more comfortable with our identities. As adults we're able to laugh at jokes and putdowns that would've traumatized us in our teens. The same jokes that stung in middle or high school lose their power to wound us. And a single joke—even if it lands wrong and pisses you off—doesn't have the power to define or destroy you once you're an adult.

The problem with this kind of highly visible hazing and the laughs it generates—laughs that are, if you'll pardon me for being a totally cunty about it, informed by misogyny and her little sister homophobia—is that what happens in MLB ballparks doesn't stay in MLB ballparks. Student athletes look up to and emulate professional athletes.

Yeah, yeah: I'm playing the role model card. But when pink backbacks and feather boas trickle down to Little League and high school teams, as they inevitably will (if they haven't already), boys who have yet develop the ability to laugh this kind of teasing off—boys who aren't as secure in their sexualities and masculinities as these professional athletes are—will be subjected to the same humiliating treatment. For boys who are still going through puberty, for boys who are still developing a sense of what it means to be a man, for boys who have yet to realize that they get to define manhood for themselves, being called a girl or a fag can be devastating. And while it may be rookie relievers who come in for this playful teasing in the major leagues, on high school and Little League teams it's going to be those boys who are already under suspicion for being queer—boys who are perceived to be sissies—who are going to be abused.

So, MLB, we appreciate the IGB videos. They're helpful. But the pink backpacks and the hazing and the laughs and the misogyny and homophobia and the feather boas?

Not helpful.

 

Comments (84) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Nancy S 1
So right Dan. Thanks.
Posted by Nancy S on September 2, 2011 at 4:15 PM · Report this
2
Pink back-packs are silly.

They should make them wear fat suits like in those Eddie Murphy movies. Fat suits filled with cream cheese.

HILARIOUS!
Posted by tkc on September 2, 2011 at 4:15 PM · Report this
3
next thing you know they'll be accusing the players with lisps of being gay....
Posted by pink is the new black on September 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 4
Bitch, if you can't handle this mild ritualistic hazing from your team mates, how are you going to hankle the taunts from the crowd after a grand slam is hit off your pathetic arm right after you walked the bases loaded. Countless players have seen their carreers ended because they couldn't handle the taunts from the unwashed masses in the stands. Suck it up, buttercup.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on September 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Carollani 5
What's been bothering me in IGB videos is totally GAY people not saying they're gay. Saying that "it gets better" while you're still publicly in the closet is kind of a slap in the face. Does it or does it not get better? Are you still hiding from the bullies? Is a Nike (or whatever) deal contingent upon you staying in the closet and afraid?
Posted by Carollani http://twitter.com/carollani on September 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 6
I don't think this is a homophobia thing. I can't imagine any self-respecting gay man walking around with a bag that has a fluffy white unicorn on it. It's not necessarily misogynistic either, as I can't see grown women wearing that crap either.

Anyway, this particular kind of hazing is necessary, as @4 pointed out. Baseball fans are merciless, and if you can't handle getting mocked by your teammates, you'll be absolutely destroyed when an entire stadium of jeering fans starts chanting that you suck. Better to grow thicker skin early on.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on September 2, 2011 at 4:30 PM · Report this
alithea 7
fyi, telling to someone to grow thicker skin about homophobic comments doesnt actually help a society full of homophobia.
Posted by alithea on September 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
8
I'm not suggesting that the players in MLB can't handle this. Read my freakin' post.
Posted by Dan Savage on September 2, 2011 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Irena 9
What kills me is that they could use little boys' backpacks and it would achieve the same goal, without the misogynistic twist.

But Dan... "misogyny and her little sister homophobia"?

Wtf is with their being gendered female? I call foul play!
Posted by Irena on September 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM · Report this
10
I have my own concerns about my hometown Phillies using girly accessories in their hazing rituals especially since they seem to be a fairly enlighten and friendly bunch. I was pleased to note that the Padres went with the Star Wars theme for their rookie backpacks.
Posted by phillygirl on September 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 11
There's also a hazing tradition in MLB of having rookies wear outrageous costumes on the final plane trip of the season. In 2001, Ichiro was compelled to wear a Hooters girl outfit on the trip home, complete with tight t-shirt and orange short-shorts. Reports are that he carried off this look very well. Honestly, this sort of stuff has been going on for years. The Mariners were doing the pink backpack thing five years ago and I haven't heard any stories of it trickling down to local high schools or little leagues. I think you're being a little hyper-sensitive on this one.
Posted by Gern Blanston on September 2, 2011 at 5:23 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 12
You can't be serious. Waaaaah, girls backpacks are racist! Is this part of the "It Get's Bitter Project"?
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 2, 2011 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
You know, as welcome of a development as it has been for major sports teams to make IGB videos, I always questioned their sincerity. After all, sports is one subculture where humiliation, degradation, sexism and homophobia are completely the norm. Quick, off the top of your head, name a gay athlete - one who was out and proud during his playing years - in the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL.

Yeah, I can't think of one, either.

It is getting better. Even if these videos are nothing more than insincere PR efforts, they were unimaginable even five years ago, so they stand as proof that it's getting better. But that doesn't mean that all (or any) of the pros have had a change of heart.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM · Report this
14
Those who say "if you can't handle getting mocked by your teammates, you'll be absolutely destroyed when..." I don't believe it. I don't agree with it. The same argument can be made in reverse, that because the fans are absolutely merciless, a team should stand together under any and all circumstances, from the veteran to the rookie, and support one another.

Which is better? To teach our young men to stand together or to teach them to emulate the hatred and fickle favoritism of the crowd?

Also, the whole 'mild injury to inoculate against a greater one' argument is stupid. That's like saying we should train our soldiers by shooting them with BBs and pellet guns, because that will absolutely give them a thicker skin and the ability to withstand larger bullets. It doesn't. Hurting someone a little with the idea that you're somehow toughening them up? Doesn't work. If it did, then all those gay kids who got bullied incessantly through school would be world leaders. A few of them are, but most had their selves torn apart.

Human beings do not work that way. What you're suggesting is sadistic.
Posted by Gamebird on September 2, 2011 at 5:55 PM · Report this
15
Those who say "if you can't handle getting mocked by your teammates, you'll be absolutely destroyed when..." I don't believe it. I don't agree with it. The same argument can be made in reverse, that because the fans are absolutely merciless, a team should stand together under any and all circumstances, from the veteran to the rookie, and support one another.

Which is better? To teach our young men to stand together or to teach them to emulate the hatred and fickle favoritism of the crowd?

Also, the whole 'mild injury to inoculate against a greater one' argument is stupid. That's like saying we should train our soldiers by shooting them with BBs and pellet guns, because that will absolutely give them a thicker skin and the ability to withstand larger bullets. It doesn't. Hurting someone a little with the idea that you're somehow toughening them up? Doesn't work. If it did, then all those gay kids who got bullied incessantly through school would be world leaders. A few of them are, but most had their selves torn apart.

Human beings do not work that way. What you're suggesting is sadistic.
Posted by Gamebird on September 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM · Report this
16
@6

Exactly.

Dan, you've been in Seattle too long. Lighten the fuck up, you uptight Seattlelite, you.
Posted by Confluence on September 2, 2011 at 6:05 PM · Report this
venomlash 17
@6: This.
Posted by venomlash on September 2, 2011 at 6:38 PM · Report this
18
@6 @16 I don't make a habit of throwing around words like misogyny or homophobia, but the whole "haze" is based on the assumption that these grown men feel embarassed because the backpacks make them look effeminate. The whole thing is dumb; the idea of any adult caring about being seen with a pink backpack is beyond ridiculous. But the whole scenario is most definitely rooted in the notion that looking like a girl, or someone whose somewhat effeminate, is bad (i.e. misogyny, and perhaps, homophobia).
Posted by CitKeane on September 2, 2011 at 6:45 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 19
@14/15:
"Also, the whole 'mild injury to inoculate against a greater one' argument is stupid. That's like saying we should train our soldiers by shooting them with BBs and pellet guns, because that will absolutely give them a thicker skin and the ability to withstand larger bullets"
Um, no. It's more like suggesting that we inject a mild form of a virus or bacterium into kids, so that they develop a resistance to the stronger form of the disease. So that when they do encounter that disease-- and they very likely will-- their bodies will have learned how to fight it. You know, how vaccines work.

What you apparently fail to grasp is that there's a difference between toughening someone up and breaking them. Toughening them up involves presenting adversity that is strong enough to challenge them a bit, but weak enough that they can overcome it. Breaking involves presenting overwhelming adversity that they could never hope to match-- at least at the present-- and then doing it again and again. The former builds you up; the latter tears you down.

Seriously, are people such fucking wusses now that the whole concept of a little adversity is "sadistic"?
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on September 2, 2011 at 6:48 PM · Report this
20
boo

motherfucking

hoo
Posted by Reader01 on September 2, 2011 at 6:58 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 21
@18: I think the embarrassment of carrying a fluffy white unicorn has more to do with childishness than femininity. I don't think the rookies would feel better if they had choo-choo trains on their bags or were forced to wear propeller caps.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on September 2, 2011 at 6:58 PM · Report this
22
Sometimes I feel like I'm being overly sensitive when I react to things like this. Like Dan, I don't think it's necessarily something to go to war over, but the whole masculine fear and degradation of femininity -- and by extension homosexuality -- just reminds me of everything that's wrong with the gay-bating, macho male paranoia that exists -- and is exploited -- by other men.

I see it also in a rash of commercials these days, mostly for alcohol, which boil down to, "Drink this ... unless you're a pussy!" It's all about American men taking the piss out of other American men at the slightest sign of femininity. I'm not about to march on Washington about it, but it rankles me. It really does.
Posted by Daniel_NY on September 2, 2011 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 23
@ 21, I'll buy that line of reasoning when I hear of more hazing incidents where choo-choo trains, propeller caps, or any other boyish thing is used in this manner.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 7:11 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 24
I'd be more impressed with the MLB if more of their players came out of the closet while still in the league AND their teams and managers supported those gay teammates without reservation then the videos will really mean something to the kids they are intended for. Until then it smacks of just a publicity stunt on the part of the teams.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 2, 2011 at 7:32 PM · Report this
25
@22

BS.

Watch any man carrying his wifes purse (generally like it's a 3 week dead fish and never, ever, under any circumstances with the strap over his shoulder) and then tell me each and every one of them is a misogynist simply because he doesn't want to be seen to be carrying a purse.

It's not degradation. The vast majority of these guys love and admire their wives or girlfriends, sisters and mothers. They admire female co-workers or bosses abilities and talents. More than that, the average heterosexual male could not imagine a world worth living in without women, not just as lovers but as a softening and refining element in the world around them. It has nothing to do with feminity being degrading, and everything to do with it not being masculine.

This is just guys being guys- a thing Savage doesn't understand, but most of those commenting should.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 2, 2011 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 26
@25 - Everything about your comment is sexist, but I'm not really surprised.
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on September 2, 2011 at 8:06 PM · Report this
27
Sorry 26 but 25 is entirely correct
Posted by Reader01 on September 2, 2011 at 8:12 PM · Report this
28
I should always read the username before I waste time reading the post, but in this case@25 I'm proof that you're wrong, ever since I was old enough to have a GF with a purse.

I should take my own advice and not tease or feed the trolls but you got me by just laying there asking to be stepped on. You like spike heels much?
Posted by Sifu http://www.sifumark.com on September 2, 2011 at 8:20 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 29
@ 25, if what you say is true, can you explain why it is that guys would "never, ever, under any circumstances [sic] (carry his wife's purse) with the strap over his shoulder"? You know, if it's not fear of femininity (in this case, of being perceived as being feminine), what reason is there for never doing that? "Guys being guys" isn't an explanation.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 30
You could get them to stop the misogynistic and homophobic hazing, but that doesn't change the true nature of big time sports. The fact is that these people have no business being role models, and the real crime is that we let children watch them play. Pro athletes are bums, plain and simple. Keep them away from your kids.
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on September 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM · Report this
31
There has been hazing in high school sports forever, and it's much worse than pink backpacks. This isn't some hugely popular thing that is sweeping the nation. It's a quirky tradition that you'd only know about as a sports fan if you watched a LOT of baseball pre-game shows, or if you read this article.

This is something that the players do for themselves and it goes mostly under the radar.Of course this is something indicative of hyper-masculinity in professional sports BUT IT'S SO MINOR WHO FUCKING CARES LIGHTEN UP

Posted by Skit on September 2, 2011 at 8:45 PM · Report this
32
@26 and 29

Sorry, but some things just are. You can be wonderfully diverse and tolerant and all the other meaningless tripe, and they still just are. At the end of the day, at the end of the weekend seminar on evolving gender roles and getting in touch with your feminine side and all the other psycho-babble, they still just are.

Boys will be boys, girls will be girls. And for healthy adults that's just wonderful. My wife loves being a woman, and loves me being a man. And vice versa. You folks that have to make everything some kind of political game are missing out on a hell of a lot, but that's hardly my problem.

Best line from a country music song about 'metrosexual' men? "With deep spray on tans and soft lotiony hands, you can't grip a tackle box."

@28

Whatever dude. Whatever.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 2, 2011 at 8:51 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 33
This is getting absurd. @30 Who should kids watch or look up to? Celebrities, politicians, religious leaders, artists, who? Is it also misogynist that women aren't included in MLB, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, etc? You people are waaaaaay too sensitive.
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 2, 2011 at 8:51 PM · Report this
34
@30 you're absolutely retarded

As the obesity epidemic in the US grows every year, we need athletes as role models more than ever.

Are there a lot of athletes who are bad role models? yes. Are a bunch of athletes homophobic redneck thugs? yes. Is the raison d'etre of pro sports to give as much money as possible to billionaire owners and TV network executives? yes

But should we deem professional athletic competition as absolutely worthless and evil? No way you fucking dork. Sports are fun don't be a stupid cunt
Posted by Skit on September 2, 2011 at 8:52 PM · Report this
35
Sports are fun?

Solo and one on one sports may be, some of them, and no hazing is necessary. I will never understand team sports.
Soccer may be the exception proving the rule, as it actually requires skill and endurance from all of the participants, but spectator sports are for spectators.
Posted by Sifu http://www.sifumark.com on September 2, 2011 at 9:20 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 36
@35 You're a fool. There are very few "solo, or one on one" sports. Hackeysack and slacklining are not sports. Your exception, soccer, the most popular spectator sport in the world, and also the most corrupt? But fuck all that stuff. The real evil here is NASCAR, amirite?
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM · Report this
37
Dan is feeling very threatened today.

Dan: go take some time off with your family. It isn't the back pack people who are selling out your kid's future to the corporate slime.
Posted by cracked on September 2, 2011 at 9:43 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 38
@ 32, no. Nothing about human dress "just is." And when we speak of purses and whether they should be worn on a man's shoulder, we're speaking of human dress.

So, since you didn't provide an explanation, I will say that you answered my question, as so many others I've asked, as "No, Matt, I can't explain this statement that I just made. I want to express my opinions and show off my intelligence, but when push comes to shove, there's no rhyme or reason behind them. Just emotion and conditioning."

That is a sad way to be, Seattleblues.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 9:50 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 36,

tennis
gymnastics
golf
archery
downhill skiing
track and field
long distance running
boxing
wrestling
weight lifting
swimming

..... shall I continue?
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 9:54 PM · Report this
40
A very well-written post, Dan. You make your points fairly, clearly, and with a humorous and appropriate reluctance to sound like a hyper-sensitive scold.
Posted by Functional Atheist on September 2, 2011 at 10:04 PM · Report this
DOUG. 41
Any Little League or high school coach that allowed this kind of public hazing would likely be fired.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on September 2, 2011 at 10:24 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 42
@ 39,

tennis coach
gymnastics team
golf caddy
archery Ted Nugent
downhill skiing team
track and field relay
long distance running, you have a point, but fuck running
boxing coach
wrestling team
weight lifting/yoga/pilates
swimming team

Cycling> director sportif/domestique
Rodeo>clowns
Magic>the gathering
Dancing>partner
Skateboarding>sponsors
Wakeboarding>driver

...shall I continue?
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 2, 2011 at 10:36 PM · Report this
venomlash 43
@25, 32: Most guys don't like feeling girly. That's what it boils down to. And yes, I carry my girlfriend's purse at arm's length when she needs a hand. This doesn't mean that carrying a purse with the strap on one's shoulder is intrinsically girly; our own tastes are reflections of our society and culture.
Posted by venomlash on September 2, 2011 at 10:41 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 44
@41 These are grown ass men, which is why it's so funny.
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 2, 2011 at 10:45 PM · Report this
45
um, maybe just reread the NYT's article and concentrate on the players who wore the backpacks and boas and said it was not a big deal, that they just embraced it or something like that.

so they hand the rookie the feather boa and his response is, "cool, thanks. hey, you got one with some sparkles too?" the response is what got better; not the idiotic hazing.
Posted by personalitykrisis on September 2, 2011 at 10:48 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 46
@ 42, so your definition of "solo" or "one on one" sports means ones where the athletes are completely on their own when they train, too? That's not how the rest of the world defines sports.

If you have any videos of entire teams of wrestlers in the ring at once, I'd like to see it. Otherwise, it's a solo sport, duderino.

Next...
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 10:57 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 47
@46 I'm just saying that any sport requires a "team" of people to help an individual succeed. Kinda like life. Also, google "cage match". BOOM!
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 2, 2011 at 11:33 PM · Report this
48
@9 - I definitely agree with your first point. I work with young girls, and hearing about the MLB hazing bothered me on that front, too. It seems to send the message to children that being a girl is the opposite of being a professional athlete. If rookies had to carry Teletubbies packs, or a mix of Dora the Explorer AND Bob the Builder... well, I'd still think it was silly, but I wouldn't have this icky feeling about it that I do have.
Posted by 14thblackbird on September 2, 2011 at 11:36 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 49
@23: Howzabout reading the original article, then:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/sports…

I see Star Wars and SpongeBob SquarePants along with Hello Kitty and Tinkerbell. The overriding theme behind the mockery is childishness, not femininity.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on September 2, 2011 at 11:41 PM · Report this
50
Dan, hate to say it, but in this case I respectfully disagree.

This tradition wasn't created out of a hate of homosexuality, or some sort of disrespect for women (misogyny). This is just a modern manifestation (and very, VERY old tradition), of just about every single "coming of age" hazing tradition that human society has ever created to shepherd boys to manhood.

Essentially, the rookie is being put in his place. By making him use a pink backpack, it's not to say that they hate women or gay guys, it's instead just a symbol of how the rookie isn't a man yet- and hence not a full part of the team. Silverback gorillas beat up the younger gorillas as as similar means of "putting them in their place" in the hierarchy. Soldiers don't learn the names of the new guys until they've been through a firefight. Fresh fish in prison don't get to sit at the tables, etc. etc. etc.

It's part of a group of men creating a means by which a new member must "prove" themselves in order to be seen as an equal.

In this case, Dan, I would say that it was *you* who is choosing to reflect pink as being "sissy" or "gay". In the way that most men are raised, pink is considered a girly color- I'll fully agree. However, isn't THAT what's going on? In our modern, tolerant world, a lot of unjust and cruel ways of new-member initiation have been set aside (and rightly so!) - all we have as a means of "testing" them now is to take away their manhood, and have them earn it back.

I remember a long, long time ago reading your article, and how you yourself wished that more gay men would act like men, instead of "girly" men - how gay men themselves helped perpetuate the myth that somehow a gay man had to be less "manly" to be gay. Men are men, women are women, and transgender folks are whomever the hell they want to be - and they can act any way they wish so long as it doesn't hurt others. And a guy having to hold onto a pink backpack for a couple of weeks isn't hurting anyone.

In this case, the PARENTS of the kids watching this should be teaching them why this tradition is fun and silly, and not hurtful and oppressive. If a child wishes to take the wrong message away from this, would that not be similar to them coming to some strange conclusion that all gay men must by pussies, because a few of 'em happen to talk with a lisp and like to wear skimpy clothes?

Now, I have no doubt that many folks will say "why should we do that anyway? Why not accept everyone as equals immediately?". Usually these are the same people who say "why can't we all just get along" and other rhetorical mouthjob statements. To which I say they're pussies, and they should grow a pair and understand that the first step to being a man - gay, straight, or wearing female genitals - is to earn your manhood by understanding that the men who feel humiliated are the ones who allow others to make them feel that way.

BTW, for the rookies - and for all gay kids growing up - it gets better.

And for you, Dan - I think you've been in the trenches too long. You are starting to view more things with an eye for only two options. I think you need to step back, just a hair, just for a while, and think that maybe everything ISN'T about sexuality, and maybe about acceptance. They can be different, sometimes.

More...
Posted by manofoar on September 2, 2011 at 11:52 PM · Report this
51
@47 that's not "team sports", okay, look up the definition.

and @34, it's you who's fucking retarded. Professional sports have nothing to do with fitness and fighting the obesity epidemic. Professional athletes don't live a "healthy" lifestyle, they basically overexert their bodies, working ONLY for the result, often until their health gives out. And watching sports has nothing to do with lifting your ass off the couch and going for a jog, if anything, it encourages people to spend even more time in front of the teevee.
Posted by puddles on September 2, 2011 at 11:55 PM · Report this
52
Dan, aren't you from the Mid West? How'd you feel about U of Iowa's away locker room? The one with the pink paint and pink carpet and pink showers and pink everything.

I see your bro at Cubs games all the time. It's not the same as seeing you around cap hill. Cheers!
Posted by PaperChase on September 3, 2011 at 12:04 AM · Report this
53
@35 Soccer isn't an exception to shit. Endurance is just as important in other sports. The only reason to make an exception to soccer is if you're a stupid hipster cunt who doesn't like things that are popular. It's okay to prefer different sports, but to find others wholly without merit is retarded. You've never understood team sports because you are a stupid autistic fuck.

@51 you are also stupid. Athletes do dangerously over-exert their bodies and become injured (football I'm looking at you), but athletes don't influence regular people to adopt the same kind of crazy/dangerous athletic lifestyles. It can't hurt to have kids interested in Lebron and Ryan Howard and Peyton Manning because if they're emulating them they're going to be moving around outside.
Posted by Skit on September 3, 2011 at 12:44 AM · Report this
54
I'm a Brit. Although I've been aware of the phenomenon for a good couple of decades, it's always with shock, outrage, and disbelief that I encounter both the American 'hazing' concept and particularly the toleration - apparently even official endorsement - of it.

I'm familiar and comfortable with friends teasing each other of course, and recognise the bonding effect in that, but it seems that 'hazing' replaces consent with something like blackmail, for me putting its 'it's just harmless fun' on the same sort of level as the workplace sexual harassment 'she loves it really' and casually racist 'I'm not racist, but...' of the 1960s - a naiive and thoughtless conspiracy of bullying which nobody in the modern world should have to suffer.

I wish I were in a position to take the team involved to an industrial tribunal: bullying is criminality by a pretty name.
Posted by sleekweasel on September 3, 2011 at 1:15 AM · Report this
55
@53 Get real. Sure, they'll be emulating them. On Xbox.
Oh, and by the way, ask your doctor for something for your rage problem.
Posted by puddles on September 3, 2011 at 1:38 AM · Report this
56
Danny equates pink girls' backpacks with The Gay?

really?
Posted by there ain't no pink in the rainbow, Danny..... on September 3, 2011 at 4:26 AM · Report this
STJA 57
I dunno Dan. The Times DOES emphasize that link is utterly unmanly, yes, but most of the packs there are KIDS packs. These guys aren't being forced to be in drag.

I appreciate you calling out the Phillies for the boa shit, though.
Posted by STJA on September 3, 2011 at 6:15 AM · Report this
58
"...you can kind of humiliate him.”
What a great job perk. It's so nice to see MLB embracing BDSM so openly.

By the way, do they get fired or driven out of the job if they refuse to submit to the hazing?

@role model discussion
Professional athletes are the Homer Simpsons of role models.
Posted by Mr. J on September 3, 2011 at 6:38 AM · Report this
59
I hate living in a society where men feel insulted when they are perceived as feminine, however briefly. Women can wear pants, button-downs, suit jackets, and team jerseys, but god forbid a man momentarily sling a purse over his shoulder.
Posted by TB on September 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 60
@ 47, so you're being pedantic. Sorry, but coaching and support don't mean these sports aren't "one on one" or "individual." A caddy might recommend which iron to use and where to hit the ball, but it's not the caddy's athleticism that actually puts the little ball in the hole. A tennis coach might help a player prepare for a match, but only the player is out there, hitting the ball over the net. A skier has to navigate the course by herself. A NASCAR racer needs a big crew to keep his car running, but he's the one making the moves that will win or lose the race, not the crew....

Shall I go on?
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 3, 2011 at 7:53 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 61
Society is stupid, that is all.
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on September 3, 2011 at 9:58 AM · Report this
62
Wow, it must be misogyny and gender essentialism day here on slog. Glad I didn't get the memo, because I would have been pissed off even before I read these comments.
If you don't believe gender is a CONSTRUCT which in part is intended to keep women in their place as ineffectual fuck-candy, this is because you are undereducated. Not stupid, just ignorant. There used to be a time in culture when it was embarrassing to be ignorant and undereducated, but now people wave it like a fucking national flag.
Pink has not been associated with women for very long, not even since the turn of the 20th c. But it certainly is now, and feminizing big bad manly sports dudes is the greatest offense ever...while the opposite (making a women wear manly shit) is not culturally read as offensive, but empowering. TA-fucking-DA
Posted by zobot http://wsu.academia.edu/zoealeshire on September 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM · Report this
63
Also, it bugs me when the stereotypical straight dude does a IGB video. It gets better because...I dont bully queer people anymore since I left highschool? I do think that allies should speak up, let the community know they stand with them, but not through a venue specifically aimed at "the bullied helping the bullied". I'm sure this argument has already happened, but cases like this really make it stand out.
Posted by zobot http://wsu.academia.edu/zoealeshire on September 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM · Report this
Fnarf 64
You went astray in your argument right at "Professional baseball players are grown men".
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on September 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Roma 65
59/TB: I hate living in a society where men feel insulted when they are perceived as feminine, however briefly. Women can wear pants, button-downs, suit jackets, and team jerseys, but god forbid a man momentarily sling a purse over his shoulder.

You're right; women have a lot more flexibility in how they can dress. And women, not just men, have a lot of disdain for men who dress "feminine" in any way. American women, for the most part, want men who dress and act "manly."

Posted by Roma on September 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM · Report this
blip 66
It's very telling of the underlying fragility and weakness of masculinity in our culture when men are so threatened by the color pink. Unfortunately the message you send to girls and women is a lot more damaging when you use their gender as an insult.
Posted by blip on September 3, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 67
@66 this is a huge flaw in our social structure, too much is based on what's between the legs or which chromosomes we have lately, and this is new. In past cultures there was no such difference, there was even a time when pink and lace was a status symbol.
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on September 3, 2011 at 1:56 PM · Report this
68
@65 Women and men who continue to support our ridiculous gender policing both disappoint and confound me.

I have a coworker who loves to wear pink socks. He thinks they are fun and comfortable. If anyone made fun of him for it, he would look at them as though they were speaking an extraterrestrial language. He has a wife, two kids, and zero insecurities. Wish there were more women and men who had his attitude.
Posted by TB on September 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM · Report this
69
@53 skit I hope one day you use "autistic" as a term of abuse around me because I would love to watch the desperation in your face as I beat the living shit out of you.
Posted by Tybalt on September 3, 2011 at 5:13 PM · Report this
70
Dan, you're 100% right. MLB needs to cut that shit out.
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on September 3, 2011 at 5:40 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 71
MLB players hate pink stuff so much
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=…
Posted by fourfingersdown on September 3, 2011 at 6:32 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 72
@71 .... yet they still associate pink with females .... stupidity spreads.
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on September 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM · Report this
73
High five to Matt from Denver.

Just one more: if surfing isn't a solo sport, there are no sports of any sort.

I know that there are contests, but real surfing happens when no one is looking.
Posted by Sifu http://www.sifumark.com on September 4, 2011 at 3:20 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 74
@73 .... which sucks because I would rather watch the unwatchable surfing. :p
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on September 4, 2011 at 3:28 AM · Report this
GlamB0t 75
I completely disagree with your opinion, Dan.

I think @50 said it perfectly.
Posted by GlamB0t on September 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM · Report this
76
well SOME people in the comments get it,
PINK = GIRLY = WEAK = GAY = STUPID = LESS THAN
i mean, we're all american, right??? this is drilled into our heads from an early age! boys rule, girls drool! and god forbid you're a fag!!

lighten up! it's a just a little good ol' american misogyny to brighten everyone's day!
Posted by SFboy on September 5, 2011 at 8:27 AM · Report this
77
Actually Dan, I suspect that the real reason that it gets better when you're all grow'd up is that the assholes who do the hazing go into fields of employment that aren't yours. As opposed to being forced to share the same building as you do, like in high school.

Which is why such hazing exists among grown men. It doesn't ever actually stop, it just keeps going on where those who don't like it, don't see it. But after high school, we all specialize and the asshole jocks who hate anyone weaker than they are go into construction, fishing, and professional sports. And they keep on being assholes.
Posted by gromm on September 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM · Report this
78
@54 Are you serious? A brit that doesn't understand hazing? England is the home of hazing - surely you are aware of the grand history of private schools and fagging... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fagging
Posted by kiwibear on September 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM · Report this
79
@74 It's not a spectator sport.
Unless you happen to be a spectator.
When you live right on the coast it's like masturbation: everyone does it, no one cares how "good" you are.
Posted by Sifu http://www.sifumark.com on September 6, 2011 at 3:26 AM · Report this
80
@78 That may be, but in this more enlightened age schools are expected to protect their pupils from such things. It may not always work, but they try. This is a bit different from a sports team publically "hazing" and it being generally accepted as reasonable behaviour.
Posted by reb on September 6, 2011 at 7:39 AM · Report this
Chris in Vancouver WA 81
How about having the rooks wear a diaper? That's humiliating without the homo/hetero baggage.

For a long time I've felt that there should be a rule in baseball where if you're up to bat with less than 2 out and a runner in scoring position, and you don't bring him around to score, you gotta wear a diaper out on the field in the next inning.
Posted by Chris in Vancouver WA on September 6, 2011 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Hernandez 82
In all my years in Little League, we did a lot of player emulation, everything from trying to throw sidearm like Dennis Eckersley, to trying to steal bases like Rickey Henderson or make awesome catches like Ken Griffey Jr. Whatever weird little hazing rituals the teams engaged in weren't even on our radar. I don't think my Little League experience was unique in that regard, or in any other. This post, in particular, is a real reach.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on September 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 83
@81 Sorry, but that's offensive to me and the millions of other incontinent people. ;)

You can't avoid offending someone though, no matter what, I'm just annoyed by the gender barriers people put up, so what if a female wants to be a tech engineer, or a guy wants to wear pink, we should move past that.
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on September 6, 2011 at 1:00 PM · Report this
84
I didn't initially come here looking for an article like this, I just happened upon it. Unlike some of the idiots in the comments who assume a man that likes pink is somehow inferior or not straight or any number of other brainwash-driven insults, I happen to like pink quite a bit although I usually mix it with black.

Pink is a color, and I find it funny that it's the 'only' color that's ever highly debated if a man is seen in it..which seems to suggest that I think outside the box. It took me awhile to get to the point where I stopped giving a shit if people didn't care for it. I own several different pink backpacks that see plenty of use .. although in terms of the article the hello kitty and the unicorn on them is well over the top...I think if anything those aspects of the bags are what crossed the line and not the color. Frankly even I would never be seen dead with either of those two.

While on top of the backpacks I own pink shoes (14s so they're custom ordered), a few pink polos, and the bags, there are some things that I just wouldn't touch. Wallets, hats, most jackets, the majority of pink shirts, pants/shorts, most watches (I have a few), etc as that's over the top in my opinion.

I think it's stupid that any person should have to catch hell for something so trivial, and the only way to deal with it most of the time is to simply stop giving a damn about those who have a serious issue with it. They can think what they want, but does it make them right? 9 times out of 10 the answer is no so who cares. As long as you live respectably and carry on like an average person it shouldn't be a major concern to anyone, and if they make it a major concern...the problem is them. I've ranted long enough though, time to go play some Rift .. it's been a long day..time to relax.
More...
Posted by Eagle1kenobi on September 29, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy