Baseball / Parenting / Race / World Magazine / August 26, 2014

What a Girl Ballplayer Taught Me About Prejudice

From my most recent article at WorldMag.com:

Mo’ne Davis is a baseball star, one of the best pitchers in the world. Well, among 12-year-olds. Davis has made a name for herself—that’s right herself—in this year’s Little League World Series by dominating many of her male peers on the mound and at the plate. Her team from Philadelphia fell just short of being the best Little League team in the world, eliminated by a team from Chicago last night. And she is the star. I think it’s fantastic.

I grew up, like most little boys, a total sexist. First, girls were just gross (cooties and all that) then they were inferior—especially in sports. I didn’t like watching girls play sports. I didn’t like playing against girls. And fie on any coed league nonsense. To me, they were inferior athletes. I would have been embarrassed to see a team of my fellow superior males sent trudging back to the dugout, at-bat after at-bat, at the hands of a girl.

Then I got married to a girl.

Then we had a daughter.

Then a few years later we had a second daughter.

I was confronted with my own sexism. That’s what happens when prejudice falls in love with its object.

. . .

All of a sudden I had to think about all those suppositions. Are my daughters inferior? No! Do I want them to ever see themselves that way? Never! No longer could I quote Ham Porter with fervor: “You play ball like a GIRL!” Well, I could, but not as an insult. Frankly, if my daughters want to play ball, I want them to play ball like girls. Really good girls. Like Mo’ne Davis.

. . .

Read the full article HERE.



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