I have to say that I, despite my deeply entrenched cynicism, am surprised at just how viral this whole Elizabeth Lambert thing went. It’s everywhere I turn. I feel–and this is just a feeling not backed up at all by evidence–that this situation has gotten more attention than Serena Williams’s outburst at the Open. I could be wrong. I haven’t sat down to chart the You Tube hits or count the articles, editorials, or blog posts but there just seems to be something about this story that makes it keep going and going and going.
I don’t think I have anything else to say about it myself but here’s some of what others have been saying:
- From Christine Brennan, a column on how coaching factors into this situation. Coaching–or lack thereof–has been listed as one of the incredulities in this case. Brennan got the interview with Kit Vela, the UNM head coach who was questioned for her decision to keep Lambert on the field despite her actions. But Vela hadn’t seen any of it, she told Brennan, until she saw the highlight reel that everyone else in American saw the night after the game. The arguably most egregious act–the ponytail pull–happened in the “run of play” Vela said and she missed. As did the referees we should note who certainly would have pointed it out. Vela insists that if she had seen it, Lambert would have been benched. Actually it seems both Vela and Lambert wished the ponytail pull had been noticed (it was well behind the play apparently) by refs who would have likely red-carded Lambert. I bet they do wish it! Probably would have at least tempered some of this fervent reaction.
- NYT sportswriter Jere Longman published a column Wednesday on the incident and got a lot of really smart and important people to talk about it 😉 Julie Foudy, Mary Jo Kane, Pat Griffin, and others commented on issues of gender, violence, physicality/contact, comparisons to men’s sports, etc.
- This columnist (reprinted in USA Today) provides a somewhat offensive level of sarcasm in his take on the whole thing. He actually incorporates the story of the high school soccer game in Rhode Island last weekend in which fighting on the field and in the stands commenced after a mid-field collision between two players. He also notes that “it’s a proud day for Title IX.” I am not pleased with all this invocation of Title IX in these discussions. I can think of a number of more appropriate organizations, moments, etc. to levy some blame on.
- Steve Krakauer at the blog Mediaite takes MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman (and her sports psychologist guest) to task for their sexist interpretation and comments on the situation. I found a problem with the sport psych guy calling this a “natural outgrowth” of the growth of women’s sports. [italics mine] Snyderman also invoked Title IX as she suggested we needed to train girls to be just shy of the level of aggression men exhibit.
- And of course you should check out the Women Talk Sports network. Many of the contributing blogs have something to say about this!