“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” are nine words spoken by Cam Newton that revealed the quarterback’s sexism, while simultaneously exposing America for its hypocrisy. Be clear, Newton’s remarks were immature and offensive for most women everywhere, and especially for women who have worked tirelessly to earn respect for producing quality work in the sports industry. However, the stereotypical assumption that women are less informed than their male colleagues because of their gender, trite as it may be, wasn’t the most disparaging bias exposed during this ordeal.
Newton’s team, the Carolina Panthers, and the NFL, were among the first to offer Rodrigue support. In separate statements, both organizations stressed its belief in providing a fair and equitable work environment for male and female journalists. Furthermore, the NFL distanced itself from Newton’s controversial remark adding, “They [Newton’s words] do not reflect the thinking of the league.” Predictably, The Association for Women in Sports Media and the Pro Football Writers of America, as well as a legion of male and female sports journalists, also reacted quickly in condemning Newton’s comments.
As an observer, men proudly expounding their pro-feminist views pleased the woman in me. But as a black woman, the power of intersectional feminism sent me raging against the machine, pussyhat wearing women, and of course, the (white) man. Black athletes have been taking knees, raising fists,
locking arms (we don’t call that protesting over here) and using their public platforms to raise awareness about racial injustice, police brutality and general societal ills that disproportionately impact people of color for over a year. Yet, their cries have been belittled, whitewashed, and largely ignored despite several very violent videos validating their pleas for change.
Comparatively, when a white woman, in this case Rodrigue, feels victimized by a black man, white men and women throw on their capes and rush to her rescue — no questions asked. Do the googles on how white women have historically used their whiteness to weaponize against black men and how black men suffer most for it. In the oppression Olympics — absent of white men because of privilege and supremacy — white women always, always prevail.
Newton is exposed as a sexist, he loses an endorsement. Rodrigue is exposed as a racist, she suffers Twitter backlash. A presidential candidate callously promotes sexual assault, he’s elected to the most powerful position in the world.
Not to mention, 53% of white women who voted for Trump weren’t offended enough by his misogyny to withhold a vote for a president who campaigned on putting women’s reproductive rights at risk.
See how that works?
Our nation’s value system is morally corrupt. Those who are outraged enough to stand up for gender equality, but remain silent about racial equality are facilitating the dehumanization of black people.
Hypocrisy: An American Story.
photo via Getty Images/Ezra Shaw