I am not sure how many times it has to be written about for people to start changing what they say but until I see those changes happen, I am going to keep writing about it. It used to just be a lazy way to insult someone and you could brush it off as a one-time thing but at this point, it’s just making me mad.
New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris talked to the press after losing a game last week and said his opponent Jae Crowder was “very woman-like.” Morris went on to use other words like “female tendencies” and “soft” to talk trash about a team he just lost to by 20 while shooting 5 of 17 from the floor.
Morris quickly issued an apology for what he said but the fact that was his go-to insult is extremely discouraging. His first thought when a female reporter asked about Crowder was to say he played like a woman.
It is still instinct for some people to yell things about how playing a sport like a woman is somehow a bad thing. Sports editor Lizi Arbogast wrote a column from a point of view much more important than mine after hearing a fan say pinning a girl doesn’t count in high school wrestling.
These are the kind of times where people say things like, “Well, we have come a long way.” But instead of actually working toward more, they use that saying as an excuse for some people’s poor behavior.
Las Vegas Aces and All-WNBA forward Liz Cambage was a big part of the bite back on Morris across social media saying “Female tendencies win games” on Twitter. There has been an enormous response from media and basketball fans but there has to be more than that from an internal standpoint in the NBA.
The NBA fined Morris $35,000 for his comments and you have to hope his teammates and coaches helped him realize his mistake when it happened and called him out for it in the locker room behind closed doors. That is the stuff we all need to be doing to stop these things from being said.
Whether it’s a teammate of yours, a parent next to you in the crowd or an opposing student section, don’t allow people to use being a woman as an insult.
The NBA and the basketball world have spent more than a week mourning the loss of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with the seven others on the helicopter during last Sunday’s tragedy. Morris even talked about how much Bryant meant to the game of basketball just before his comments on Crowder.
That part is even more mind blowing because if you actually cared about what Bryant stood for, you would not make a comment like that. Bryant was a big advocate for the WNBA and his daughter was going to carry on his legacy in the league one day.
And whether you care to advocate for those things the same way Bryant did, it is clear comments like these are wrong and needed to stop a long time ago. It is certainly a start if you can keep yourself from saying ignorant things and that may put you ahead of Morris but that’s clearly not enough.
We may have come a long way but that has to do with how far behind we were to begin with rather than where we are now.
This is not about learning to apologize after saying something but rather not saying it all and eventually get to the point where you don’t even think it. Respecting women is not something that should have to be a second thought.
Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for The Tribune.