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A History, er uh Herstory of College & Professional Sports

I was thinking recently about the celebration of the 2007 PSU Women’s Hockey Championship. It then occurred to me how there was something a bit amiss about the entire scenario. Am I the only one who noticed the coach of the team was a man? Yes, they have a woman assistant, but that none the less doesn’t change the fact that a man head coached all those talented women to the championship. As a matter of fact aren’t there also men coaching in the WNBA? Is this a problem, or just a way of life that we have all adjusted to, and accepted?

On the contrary, how many women are coaching all male major college sports teams, not to mention all male professional teams? I know that some men coach women in professional tennis, but do women coach male professional tennis players? What is up with this? Is it not a big deal? Is it just the way it is at present? Will it ever change? If not, why not? If so, when?

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If we mean to say that only women can coach women then we must also believe that only men can coach men. Such a paradigm would set gender-equity issues back decades.

And by the way - you might notice that, while there are no female coaches in the NBA just yet, there ARE female referees.

I believe that all too often in race relations and gender relations we get caught up in the snapshot of what is instead of the curve of progress toward what will be. I can certainly see women coaching in the NBA someday, for example. Maybe some of the players would behave a little better with someone like Pat Summit on the bench!

*** Card Buddy, I bring the point up about women coaching men's sports because it may be one of the last bastions that feminism must reach before there is truly gender equality. But the argument that is often offered against it is that women can't coach a sport that they haven't played because what superstar athlete would follow their lead. The counterargument would be that many coaches in professional sports never played at the superstar level, so why hold women to that standard. But, this is the argument that traditionalists have used, and will use, when it serves their purpose to maintain the status quo. Am I wrong? -- J.W. ***

Actually, I never even noticed. Isn't that the point.

Current demographic trends in higher education already show an increase in females over males. In many institutions, this has already been reflected in the decimation of many traditionally male sports activities.

Will we soon be implementing a quota system for men? When female sports dominate, will the lack of male coaches be questioned? Or will we have advanced to the point where these simplistic delineations based on color or gender or preference are no longer needed?

JW - Welcome to the neighborhood!

*** TourPro, I appreciate the welcome! I am not sure what you meant by "Isn't that the point?" in regards to your not noticing. My point is that many of us, men and women alike, haven't noticed that there is a level of hypocrisy in hiring and/or staffing that isn't being taken to task, or even questioned, in sports leadership. Would it be such a bad thing if men were outnumbered in college or professional leadership roles, especially since men have been the dominant gender throughout history. For my money, if the leader knows her/his business, then I will follow. But the imbalance is somewhat of an insult to my intelligence, and an insult to my respect for the minds of the gender that carried us and nurtured us. -- J.W. ***

Hey JW this is one subject that has always intrigued me. As a high school student I know that if a woman had become coach of my soccer team I would have been very apprehensive to say the least. However upon examination, I have to realize I was being stupid.
One of the coaches who I respect most in soccer is Mourinho who has coached Chelsea to a couple English League Championsips as well as Porto to European glory. Yet he himself admits he was never any good as a player and was never really interested in playing the sport. But he he did love soccer and learnt as much as he could about the game and its tactics.
Therefore with this in mind, what could possibly prevent any female from loving any sport and learning its tactics and strategies just as well or better than a male? The reasoning of "she's hasn't played the sport" is moot since Mourinho and many others have proventhis wrong. It is only our own attitudes and apprehension that is helping keep this frontier (coaching) from being conquered by a woman.

*** NYtrini..., I agree that it is our own attitude and apprehension that keeps us from conquering the frontier of women venturing into head coaching roles in men's sports. But what may be more interesting is how did you and I acquire that apprehension? I don't recall anyone specifically ever telling me that I shouldn't respect women in leadership roles. If no one ever said anything like that to you, where did you buy into such a dysfunctional mentality? -- J.W. ***

Actually, this comment has nothing to do with the blogs here. This is more of a comment on one of the "talk" you gave at Elks Club.. You said that everyone is a racist. Firstly, I believe that you meant that everyone has their prejudices, whether they would be religious, social, political, or racial. And if what you say proclaims to be true, then aren't you and your family -- your children -- are as well racists. Since the people at the Elks Club just wanted to have a quiet tie to have lunch, I'm sure they did not bother to comment on your narrow-mindedness. You may speak passionately, but that does not make you right. I wonder what kind of applicants did Plattsburgh State turned down to hire you? I also wonder what kind of curriculum does/did Mercy College have for you to attain your "Masters" degree. Furthermore, you never answer the questions posed to you at your speech. You just gave them the run around. If you keep acting the way you're acting, then yes, there will be racism towards against you, and racism in general. And just to show that you are ignorant and the very person you preach against, or educate people to be aware of, i.e. narrow-minded bigots, I went to a high school that had a female coach for the football(men, of course) team AND won the High School National championship. True, this may not count as a professional or college team, like you had blogged -- but it's a step, and sooner or later there will be a women's coaching a men's team, or player, at a professional or collegiate level. It's not all Black & White, just the way you perceive the world. You are nothing but a racist and a sexist hiding behind you're own race and gender. And if Press-Republican is a champion in journalistic integrity, they will post this comment. If not, then they just had succumbed to your bullying and intimidation.


*** Quixoticire, Thanks for telling us how you really feel! Yes, my family is racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, etc. Why, because we have been socialized in America and America has not taken the time to educate its populace about respect of differences. Instead it educates people who grow up to be like you, afraid to hear the truth, or incapable of it. This adherence to a tenacious perspective is often referred to as the Method of Tenacity, where people tenaciously hold onto a perspective for fear of letting go of it and encountering doubt, a state of mind none of us want to be in. Could this be you?

Have you ever thought of the fact that you just may be wrong in the way you see the world? How is it that so many Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, and businesses hire me to address their students, and don't hire people like you? If you have a question, a serious question to ask me, then ask it! Up to this point, all you have been doing is ranting and raving about how inadequate and narrow minded I am. What is interesting is that you may be right. I am narrow minded when it comes to social justice, hypocrisy and respect. Oh yes, and passionate about it as well. Because if I do my job well, I can possibly change people's perspectives, teaching them or challenging them to have the courage to "doubt" for a moment on the way to a new view of life, a new view of people's differences, and a new view of the "Other .

You claim that I never answer the questions posed to me. How would you know? Your prepacked agenda against me made you incapable of hearing most, if any of what I said. For example, your point about your female coach, while something you probably puffed your chest out about as you wrote it, is a fairly moot point because my blog specifically addressed college and professional sports, not high school. You attempted to acknowledge that you saw the difference, but still wanted to use your point to leverage a point about my inadequacies, when all I was doing was challenging my audience to think about and interesting phenomenon of our society.

I have had many students who have taken classes of mine, as general education courses, who have had huge paradigm shifts to become allies in the social justice movement. They started out hating me, as you appear to do, and then being immersed in healthy conversations, grew to see that they were holding onto a perspective that was counterproductive to the human condition. Unlike you, they didn't continue to tense up, clench their fist, and process everything I say and do negatively. But that is because they weren't narrow minded, like some of us (as you claim). When you hear someone speaking about respecting one another and your body is excessively tensed up, have you ever asked yourself what that is all about?

If your mind ever opens, even just a little, visit SUNY Plattsburgh's website and then visit CDPI's webpages and read some of the student's comments about the Examining Diversity Through Film course, especially the last one listed. Perhaps the only difference between you and the last female student's comments is that she had the courage to look at herself and ask herself why she was initally hating a guy who was basically talking about love. Oh, yes, it is because I love, that I am passionate about what I do, But I will end now, because the possibility that you are hearing me is remote I am sure, but also that I would like to love you must have just blown your mind! -- J.W. ***

Thank you. I am sure that one of the reason why you were hired was because that if you were not hired, you would have played the race card. I suppose it’s the White America society that a black person is more likely to commit a crime against another black person; that it is white America society’s fault that Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice, Tiger Woods, Colin Powell, etc. have become exemplary citizens of this country. Ever heard of them speak the way you speak?

You only see or think things in extreme black & white: believing that something is one of only two possible things, and ignoring any possible in-betweens. Your actions produce chaotic relationships. Your body language, speech, and writings show instability in mood, perhaps you, indeed, have an unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior, as well as a disturbance in the your sense of self. The drivel you drone on is without its merits and is solely to harass or subdue your audience. The idiocy you speak of are frivolous and repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted noise of hateful speech. You practice vexatious enunciation. You abuse the first amendment, your status, profession, and role to dispense of your personal vendetta and bitterness, most especially against toward whites. Now, you know how to feel when a nerve is struck; this is the effect the you bring on to your audience whenever you try to communicate. Truth hurts, ain’t it? You denigrate the very notion you’re trying to convey by being hateful, resentful, narrow-minded, bigot.

Your speeches compromise the integrity of SUNY Plattsburgh, while its administration and faculty will be left to get the blame. Again, thank you for finally exposing your true nature and agenda. I rest my case.

*** Quixoticire, you have really figured me out, and blown my cover all in this typewritten epiphany that you were kind enough to share. I guess I'm lucky to have had an enjoyable career up to this point, but now since you have exposed me, I guess I will start packing. -- J.W.***

Mr. Wiley,

You must have known when you began your series of blogs (or even earlier, when you began your career), that it would be an up-hill battle. It is sad that individuals such as "Quixoticire" would pop up with their anger and attempt to intimidate you back into the posture of the African American in the 19th century. He probably doesn't realize how foolish he looks, so I have pity on him. And I commend you for your courage and your determination. Don't let the turkeys get you down. If "Quixoticire" would care to open his mind, he would be able to learn something from you, as I have. Keep on telling us how the world looks from your perspective. I praise the College and the Press Republican for offering you an opportunity to help us all learn more about ourselves. The more we know, the better we will be able to begin working with each other for the things that matter: a more harmonious society; a fairer world; a more level playing field for all our children; an end to the bitterness and anger that drives people who reject your point of view without even considering it. On the other hand, I am sorry that people like "Quixoticire" are out there, but if they were not, you'd be out of a job. And I am exceedingly grateful for what you are giving to our community.

With every good wish, Creeky

*** Creeky, I'm curious, have you ever seen a black person blush? I truly appreciate your words of support! It is words like yours, and actions that you and others have taken, that energize me to stay the course!! -- J.W. ***

Dear Mr. Wiley,

As a result of the dronish rant that Quxoticire felt compelled to subject us all to, I have decided to respond to your blog. This is my very first time responding to any blog and I apologize that my action is prompted by someone so negative and hurtful.

First of all, Mr. Wiley, I truly enjoy your writing style and the thought trails you lead us on. The Press Republican is an ideal venue for a blog of this nature and you are doing the community a wonderful service in expanding our minds. Thank you for stepping out of the lecture hall and coming into our homes and hearts in this capacity.

Back to the topic... I haven't given it much thought before now (I am not much of a sports enthusiast, professional or otherwise) but this will be a great dinner party topic.

Your new faithful reader.

*** Maureen, though it took an irate post to have you join the conversation, sometimes out of pain there is gain. Welcome to Wanderland!! You sound as if you have some very engaging dinner conversations. Lucky you! -- J.W. ***

I realize this post is outdated, but I have been reading these posts in my free time, slowly catching up, and similar to the writer above I felt the need to finally make my first comment.
I took J.W.'s Examining Diversity Through Film class this past semester at PSU. Numerous friends of mine engaged in his class and recommended it to me. This class convienently fullfilled a General Education requirement so I enrolled. Although I did not become as actively involved in class, as most teachers would hope, I find myself raving about EDTF to my friends, and even family.
I did not see until I was through with the class the imense impact the engagement sessions had on a person. I find myself continually challenging my family and friends with comments they may make about others. It is a running joke now, watch what you say around her because if it is not politically correct then you will hear it. I laugh at this too, but I know I am affecting them, and that is my goal.
J.W. taught me how to have the confidence and courage to challenge not only others around me, but myself! I strongly recommend attending any of his WRAP sessions or lectures, you will leave questioning every single aspect of your life, but in a positive way!! J.W. often remarked in class to keep an open mind, I was annoyed by this, feeling I was one of the most open minded people I knew. Until we started talking about racism, and the moving walkway, which he mentioned in another blog. The whole conversation our class was invloved in was powerful, and hit close to home! It made me realize even when I denounce racism or any form of oppression, by not stepping up and voicing my opposition I am no better than the oppresser. (I strongly recommend anyone who hasn't read the Moving Walkway Article to read it!! )
So when J.W. asked the first day of class why I took the class I responded because it looked "interesting". Well J.W., your class was far more than interesting, but indeed life changing!! Thank you for all the challenges you presented to our class to truly open our minds!! And keep up the great work, hopefully I will see you in the fall!

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