Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sad double standard for women in sports

The controversy following the on-ice celebration of their gold medal victory by the Canadian women's hockey team highlights an ongoing double standard for women celebrating major sports victories. While their celebration may have gotten a little out of control, men celebrating in the same manner would not be subject to such criticism.

I don't condone underage drinking or silly antics like trying to commandeer arena equipment (if that actually even happened). But most of the negative comments circled around the fact that the women were drinking champagne publicly and pretending to smoke cigars, which no one would have had a problem with if they were men.

Mike Francesa weighed in at the start of his radio program yesterday and made clear that he didn't approve of their behavior, admitting that he was being old-fashioned. But Francesa, a long-time New York Yankees fan, would have had no problem with the same celebration by the Yankees. In fact, the Yankees had several on-field celebrations during their dynasty run in the late 1990s. I vividly remember the 1999 World Series with Derek Jeter spraying the fans with champagne, with a smiling New York city policeman looking on. So why can't the Canadian women celebrate the same way in an empty arena?

After a disappointing start to the Olympics for Canada, there was a lot of pressure on the women's hockey team to fulfill expectations and bring home a gold medal for a country in desperate need of some cheering up. So what if they went a little crazy with their celebration? It's only being criticized as embarrassing because it was a bunch of women. If it was the men's hockey team celebrating in the same way, it would be a non-story. It's a sad double standard.

Thanks to Jeff via Wikipedia for the photo.

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