Tag Archives: sports

Covering the Hijab at the Rio Olympics

Past weeks have seen the internet come to blows over pictures from a women’s volleyball game between Germany and Egypt. This picture:

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Now where most sane folks would see a simple game of beach volleyball, the denizens of the interwebs have managed to read in some fantasy about a clash of cultures- “the free and civilized West against the superstitious, primitive savages of the East.” Comment sections have been flooded with everything from sarcastic half-jokes…

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…to open propaganda.

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“Because I, from the comfort of my armchair, know this athlete’s situation better than she does.” -Idiot Commentor

There’s been snide comment after comment directed not at Doaa Elghobashy’s performance in the game, not towards her assertion that what she wears is her own damn business, not towards her teammate (Nada Meawad) who doesn’t wear a hijab…

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And I think it’s because people aren’t actually angry about any of that.

For all the sanctimony, the issue at hand seems not to be with mandates or even just pressure to wear the hijab. It has nothing to do with standing up for women- on the contrary. I do think that the extreme contrast between Elghobashy and her German counterparts hit a nerve that most people didn’t realize they had. I think it does forced folks to ask themselves some truly uncomfortable questions about why they actually watch the sport.

I’m talking about this:

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Now I seriously debated putting that picture up, but as cringingly uncomfortable as it is, I think it speaks volumes about our culture. Continue reading

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The 3 Best Parts of a Professional Sporting Event for People Who Don’t Love Sports (i.e. Me)

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been struggling to keep up on my weekly posts since heading back to school. This has been primarily due to a creeping deadline at work, paired with more school assignments than I had been expecting from my “easy” filler classes. This weekend, I also had another distraction:

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It’s no secret that I’ve never been a sports lover. This is probably because I’ve never found a sport that I’ve been good at and I’m a sore loser. Yet somehow, I married a sports lover and, since then, I’ve begrudgingly come to appreciate the pastime. I just don’t always appreciate them for the same reasons that John does. Below, I’ve shared a few reasons why my first NBA (pregame) experience was a blast, and why I hope we can make it a tradition. Continue reading

Why The Internet Hates Sports

Look, I’m well aware that this post would have been more effective had it been posted a week ago before NFL Super Bowl XLIX. I don’t control current events, however, and as soon as I saw that Michelle Obama had a “wardrobe malfunction” while visiting Saudi Arabia I knew I had to cover it [no pun intended]. So imagine, if you will, that we’re in the days leading up to the most-watched sporting event in America. People are already beginning to build the foundations of their dozen-layer dips and comic artists are churning out strips like the following Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

The joke being, hahaha, “geeks” [whatever that term even means anymore] don’t like sports! Not only do they not like sports, they don’t understand them! The concept of other people being excited about people physically competing against each other is completely illogical in their minds. Moss of The IT Crowd is a man who beat every record on the British gameshow Countdown and here is how he views [European] football:

Series 4, Episode 2

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Culture War Correspondence: Sports

GORDON: The GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAL of today’s topic is to discuss sports, ladies and gentlemen- which I thought appropriate, considering the devastating defeat of Brazil at the hands of Germany.

KAT: Yeah, it was a real blitzkrieg.

Are you a sports guy Gordon?

GORDON: Classy, Kat. Bring up the darkest and most shameful elements of German history on this, their proudest day.


But to answer the question, no, not at all. I’ve always been an adherent of the belief that if you’re not playing it, it’s probably not all that interesting.

KAT: My apologies to all my fellow Germans out there.

And yes, I think you are really on to something there. The only sport I’ve enjoyed watching at all is soccer and that’s just because I’ve played it (terribly, but I did play) so I understand (most of) the rules.

So, did you actually watch any of the games in the World Cup?

GORDON: None whatsoever.

I did follow it a little bit, but only to gauge the reactions of average Americans to the comparative success of the team. This has probably been the most invested the American public has been in the sport.

Or anything, really.

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Fame Day: Redskins Trademark Registration Denied

There’s only one possible topic I could have written for this week’s Fame Day given yesterday’s news that-

Federal agency cancels Redskins trademark registration, says name is disparaging [!]

Hold on, let me find a gif that accurately depicts how I feel about this news. Hold on . . . Okay, I think this one should suffice:

hallelujah shaytards gif Continue reading

Shame Day: Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the NBA

Today’s Shame Day has a multitude of facets, the first and largest of being that Donald Sterling is a straight-up racist.

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To begin with we have the very recent news of TMZ’s recording [since authenticated by his lawyer] of the LA Clippers’ owner talking to his half-Black half-Mexican girlfriend and telling her the following:

– “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30) 

– “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.” (5:15)

– “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)

– “…Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don’t bring him to my games.” (9:13)

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Fame Day: The NBA

Let me just be clear, I am a non-consensual basketball watcher. In fact, I’m not really a fan of team sports at all. My only involvement with basketball in high school was the time I was convinced to sign up as manager, and that was only so that I could go on awesome trips with my much more sporty friends, not out of any interest for the game.

Despite my aversion to team sports I somehow ended up with a guy who loves basketball. I’m pretty sure he hid this fact from me until I was in too deep to run away. In fact, when we first met I thought he was this smart, intense, skinny nerd… which was mostly true. What I didn’t know was that he was sick at the time, so later, after we had been dating a little while (and my mom had been feeding him extensively), he started getting back into sports and putting on a lot more muscle. So what’s a girl to do? In the end, I sacrificially chose to continue loving him in spite of his newly toned body.

Anyways, since we have been married I’ve somehow ended up watching a lot more basketball. I think part of this is because we are both students and we spend a fair bit of time doing this:

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