That’s not locker room talk, Donnie
You know, it really irks me when people on social media tell me to stick to sports as a sports editor and writer.
Recently, the line between sports and politics blurred for me when Donald Trump attributed his vile words toward women in a 2005 video to “locker room talk.”
I’m not sure what locker room he’s been in. I’ve spent roughly 15 of my 24 years of life — 19 of 24 if you want to count when I started playing sports at the age of 5 — in a locker room where adults don’t really come in until close to game time.
Not once, especially in high school and college, did I ever hear a teammate or gym partner talk about sexually assaulting women.
That can be largely attributed to everyone’s upbringing with wonderful women behind them.
I know that played a large role with me having my mother teaching me right from wrong, respecting everyone and treating others the way you want to be treated. Having a ton of aunts around played a major part as well, along with a pair of grandmothers who played large roles in shaping who I became.
I like to think of myself as a respectful, kind gentleman, but when I hear Trump attribute his disgusting 2005 remarks toward a woman waiting to take him into a promotional shoot for a soap opera, I couldn’t help but feel it was an attack on men as well as women.
Saying it was just “locker room talk” makes it seem like all men who step into a locker room — whether it be a sports locker room or the locker room, sauna or changing room at your local gym — likes to crack jokes about sexually assaulting women.
Let’s not pass this off as just words or “locker room talk,” especially when a large number of accusations have come out since last Friday from women accusing Trump of sexually assaulting them.
Most importantly, Trump’s contention that what he said was just “locker room banter” and that somehow makes it harmless perpetuates a rape culture and suggests to young men something their coaches work hard to prevent — that it’s OK to objectify women.
It’s appalling to anyone involved in sports, from athletes to reporters to equipment managers. In fact, athletes from across all the major sports leagues in the U.S. took to social media Sunday night to denounce Trump’s “locker room” defense. It’s not like that in locker rooms that a large majority of us know.
But hey, maybe in Trump’s swanky 1-percenter locker room that’s exactly how it is.
Later this week, during a crucial stretch in the presidential campaign, Trump demonstrated further how little he knows about sports and added football players to the long list of those he’s attacked.
On Wednesday, Trump said all of his supporters are stronger than NFL players because “they take one ding on the head and they’re out for the season.”
For a guy who loves football and is routinely around the game due to friendships with certain players, this was a particularly callous comment.
Concussions and their cumulative damage are nothing to joke about as extensive research shows more and more that they’re a serious problem as players age.
Maybe Trump considers the concussion research to be like climate change research — some sort of silly, politically correct conspiracy.
But then football is just another of Trump’s business failures.
When the USFL was still around, old archive footage from ESPN’s “30 for 30” show on the collapse of the USFL showed Trump talking about how since he was never really an athlete, he always wanted to own a team.
After buying the New Jersey Generals and signing Hershel Walker, Trump thought it would be smart to challenge the NFL in the fall and move the USFL from its spring season, where it was thriving.
He convinced every USFL owner to hand their money over to him and he would take care of the league and make millions of dollars for everyone.
The league quickly folded.
Maybe I should stick to sports, but you know what? Maybe Trump should stick to what he’s good at: being a washed-up reality TV star who doubles as a dirty old man who continues to fail at one business venture after another. Not a presidential candidate who could get access to the nuclear football.