Bill Cosby is out of prison, not because he isn’t a rapist, but because of shoddy lawyering by a former district attorney in Pennsylvania. Britney Spears remains under a conservatorship, even as her father refuses to let her remove an IUD.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the state assembly in Missouri voted to ban funding for abortion providers, and the top court in Iowa reinstated a law that bars Planned Parenthood from running sex education programs in the state.
But at least sports can provide a respite from all of society’s hostility toward women, right? No, of course not. The toxicity in this segment of the culture is as out of control as ever.
Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young winner and one of the worst human beings on Twitter, is being investigated for sexual assault. The case is serious enough that the alleged victim got a restraining order against Bauer, and The Athletic reported gruesome details from her court filing that led to the order being granted. The nature of her injuries, and Bauer’s alleged actions in crossing the line from consensual to non-consensual sexual acts, are harrowing — difficult to even read about, let alone imagine.
The team paying Bauer more than $100 million over the next three years, the Dodgers, passed the buck big time with their statement on the matter, saying, “The Dodgers were made aware of the allegations against Trevor Bauer late [Tuesday] afternoon and immediately contacted Major League Baseball, which will be handling this matter. The Dodgers take any allegations of this nature very seriously, but will have no further comment at this time.”
They take it so seriously, Bauer remains on the active roster and on track for his next scheduled start, on the 4th of July, a perfect reminder of how little this country and this sport care about women.
And if you think baseball really does care, that Bauer pitching through it is about letting due process run its course, well, MLB on Wednesday placed former Mets general manager Jared Porter on its Ineligible List through 2022. That’s the same penalty handed down to former Mets manager and Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, which of course leaves the door open for a return to the game and the typical gross “redemption” story arc that these men so often get. Nobody would miss Porter or Callaway if they were banished forever, as they should be, but instead, it’ll just take an apology tour and one owner who doesn’t give a damn (there are 30 of those) to give another chance to two men who should always have known better than to act the way they did, yet abused their positions of leadership and power instead.
Of course, it’s not just baseball that’s telling women exactly what they think of them with actions that speak far louder than their hollow words.
It’s not just that admitted spousal abuser Jason Kidd, who’s never won more than 44 games in a season as a head coach between two stops in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, got yet another job in Dallas, where the Mavericks have had plenty of organizational issues with domestic violence and sexual harassment. It’s not just that the Trail Blazers hired Chauncey Billups, allowed him to say that a 1997 rape allegation and lawsuit settlement shaped his life, then shut down any questions about what that meant. But both of those hires were made in spite of the availability of Becky Hammon, who, without a doubt, would be a head coach by now if she was a he.
ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins, who was a rookie with the Celtics in 2003 when The Boston Globe suspended columnist Bob Ryan for saying that Joumana Kidd, the coach’s former wife, “needs [someone] to smack her,” fired up a gaslight by saying, “it wasn’t an issue when [Kidd and Billups] were on the court laying it on the line night after night as players!”
That’s blatantly false, but Perkins showed more of his true colors on Wednesday when he said of Floyd Mayweather, “I know he’s flamboyant. A lot of people don’t love him. They don’t like what he do. A lot of people don’t applaud his approach, his arrogancy, and everything else about it.” No, it’s more about Mayweather’s long history of domestic abuse cases, which includes a guilty plea and jail time. That’s not something that can be waved off as “arrogancy,” and it’s long past time for sports to move on from this creep.
Instead, sports just continues to not only welcome, but highlight, the worst available men. The NHL chose this week, amid a sexual assault scandal in Chicago where players allegedly were victimized by a video coach, to trot out Patrick Kane as the presenter of the Calder Trophy. Yes, that Patrick Kane. And of course that Patrick Kane, because somehow, after everything, including his team being largely irrelevant for the past four years, he’s still the go-to guy for promos.
Hockey culture, clearly, is fine with this, as for the second straight year, writers voted to make Maple Leafs creepazoid Auston Matthews a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, the NHL award for gentlemanly conduct.
But it’s not just looking the other way with players’ garbage treatment of women. The NHL, in an attempt at “growing the league’s youth audience,” just announced a deal with 19-year-old Josh Richards, a TikTok personality and host of a podcast with a Barstool Sports guy who makes jokes about rape Dave Portnoy. One of their fun podcast games? “Fuck, Marry, Kill,” in which, as Ken Campbell reported, the news that Faith Ordway has a boyfriend prompts Richards to say, “so, kill her.”
The NHL would be far better off just playing a bunch of highlights to Olivia Rodrigo music, which is how Hockey Night in Canada introduced Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Actually, just replace everything with Olivia Rodrigo. Let her pitch for the Dodgers, let her coach in the NBA, let her present all the NHL awards. It really is brutal out here.