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"Controversy" In Sports Is All About Perception

Mike Welch
May 18, 2017 - 11:41 am

I have no idea what’s controversial, and clearly, neither does anybody else.
We used to live in a world where Peter Warrick getting a large discount on a suit caused outrage across the sports universe. Right now, the NCAA would kill for some kid to get a free suit.

Yesterday, a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor alleges organized gang rapes and dog fights at Baylor football parties, and the details are even more disturbing than the headline.

A horrific story by every definition, and the majority of people have reacted by saying, “That’s awful”, and then moving on. We’re becoming desensitized to horrific things in society, but at the same time, we’ve become overly sensitive about what public personalities say. LaVar Ball tells FS1’s Kristine Leahy to “stay in your lane”, and the outrage is massive. People are calling it sexist. Considering Leahy is a sidekick, LaVar Ball likely meant she should stay in the sidekick lane. In fact, the majority of negative responses to my stating what Ball said wasn’t sexist have been, “What would you say if somebody told you to stay in your lane?”, which proves my point. As a sidekick myself (management promises I'm not a sidekick, but let's call a snowflake a snowflake), somebody could tell me to stay in my lane, proving the lack of sexism in the comment by Ball. Disrespectful and dismissive, yes. Deserving of a harsh response by said sidekick, absolutely. Sexist, no.

But this is what we do, isn’t it? We yell and split hairs about something a crazy parent of an NBA Draft prospect said, but when real atrocities take place, people move on without batting an eye.

Faux outrage over things people in the public eye say is more self-serving than genuine. People are looking to build their brand and get a pat on the back because they’re “standing up” for a group. Rarely are the people feigning this outrage doing things to legitimately help stop real oppression in society. They’re looking for attention. Kim Kardashians who swear to have disdain for people like Kim Kardashian. 

This creates muddy water as to what actually deserves attention, and keeps people focused on the wrong things. People are beginning to wake up to it, though. Even the most simple-minded are able to agree the clear disregard for human and animal rights at Baylor should be larger news than something disrespectful said by LaVar Ball.

So, after the inevitable fall of the “Faux Outrage” culture, what will be left? Hopefully, people who are more interested in actually helping others than pretending to solve the least of the world’s problems 140 characters at a time.


05/18 9am Podcast

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