Football Bullies Act Like Chickens
Posted by BroadBlogs
Ellen Chase bought some chickens, both for the eggs and the entertainment value. They quickly formed a pecking order, leaving the bird at the bottom madder than a wet hen. Eventually, that chicken realized that a blind hen was even more defenseless than her. “Fearful and isolated from her short lifetime of harassment,” Chase says,
It didn’t take her long to realize that here was someone more defenseless than herself, and all her pent-up anger came out in merciless attacks, random and unprovoked.
Miami Dolphins bully Richie Incognito is a lot like that chicken:
As a boy Richie Jr. was timid, mocked for both pudginess and a gentle nature. Folks still remember the teasing. His dad finally told him: “If you let anyone give you s— now, you’re going to take s— your entire life.” So the young boy delivered a pounding that ended the harassment.
Richie seems to have relished that taste of power, which has culminated in recent brawls with teammate, Jonathan Martin, who endured a year of physical and verbal abuse, including a racist voicemail message and threats against his sister.
Turns out, all this henpecking is locker room norm. But why?
Sociologist, Timothy Jon Curry, has spent some time in locker rooms. He says teams are focused on competition, status and winning – both inside and outside the locker room. And athletes, who don’t feel secure since an injury or poor performance can easily take them out, become prone to hostile competition.
The locker room pecking order mirrors society, with straight, white males placed on top by way of putting down women, gays and people of color–which reflects the Incognito-Martin debacle.
Even where jocks seek camaraderie, they want it without vulnerability, intimacy or caring. Because that’s girly and weak. So banter, even when playful, is tough, violent, and dominating.
Meanwhile, none of it is publicly challenged. The athletes are desensitized from repetition. And folks commonly side with the powerful because they fear becoming the next victim.
Too bad locker rooms are so full of chickens.