“Greg Hardy had to pretend to respect women for 12 minutes, just 12 minutes, and he couldn’t even do that,” Nolan said. “And what’s worse, is no one stopped him. They let him go on about girlfriends and guns and posted video of it on DallasCowboys.com because who [expletive bleeped] cares? Women won’t see it.”
Katie Nolan, sports correspondent, regarding Greg Hardy (Read more here).
Here’s what I think. In a changing world, we have to learn that some of what we say can be bad for all.
Let’s exclude the actually racist and sexist folks from this discussion. And, yes, there are such people.
I think about my own past. I grew up in 1950s Jacksonville, Florida. One of the schools in my neighborhood was named for a KKK leader of an earlier generation. My elementary school PTA once put on a fundraising event – a minstrel, complete with a group of mothers doing a song and dance number in blackface. I knew many “nice people” throughout the deep south that held views of black people that… well, let’s just say I’m not proud of that part of our past.
But, today, there really is no excuse ever – not ever – for thoughtless, racist vocabulary or comments. We should know better by now. Not only should we think differently than we did in the 1950s, we should talk differently also.
I guess I’m saying this: what we were is not what we should be any longer.
And, it wasn’t just racism. It was also other “isms,” like… sexism — gender discrimination, constant gender putdowns and exclusion.
I thought of all this as I read Katie Nolan’s takedown against Greg Hardy.
And I realized, yet again, that the time has come for every decent thinking person to call out every sexist comment, in every arena.
The NFL is a workplace, and Greg Hardy was at work. He made his comments to the media which intended to record and report what he said – that’s their job. He should have watched what he said. And his teammates should have called him on it, as should the Cowboys’ owner, as should the coaching staff.
Only the head coach seemed to get it, and even that came a little late. There should have been a pretty good talk and coaching session about what he should and should not say before he ever reappeared in front of the media.
But, most importantly, we all need to realize that we function in an ever-more diverse world. Every race, every ethnicity, every religion, every gender – these are all represented all around us, at work, and in our communities. Thinking kind thoughts is the ideal; speaking to and of one another with proper vocabulary and tone and simple human decency and respect is the absolute minimum.
People like Greg Hardy need to understand that there are now women in the workplace of the NFL. It’s time for NFL players, and a lot of others in all arenas, to watch their mouths.