Thursday, September 10, 2009

Congratulations, Mark, You've Lost all Credibility

Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at age 11 in 1991 and, after 18 years of being raped and held captive, was found and freed. According to Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker, the saddest part of this ordeal was not that she was raped or kidnapped, but that she missed 18 years of great sports moments. Seriously?!

Whicker proceeded to create a list of “important” things she missed while being held by her attacker. Don’t be fooled, although he mentions key happenings, like the election of President Obama, in his column, his compiled list of things she missed is made entirely of sports moments; 29 sports moments to be exact.

Between his comments on the various World Series games and the golfer who “really is named Tiger Woods,” Whicker throws in comments like “[she probably] hasn’t high-fived in a while” and “I know you’ve had trouble digesting this all so far, but...” and continues on with his list. In case the overall tone and point of this article wasn’t offensive enough, he signs off his article with “Congratulations, Jaycee. You’ve left the yard.”

Is this guy, and perhaps even are Americans in general, that insensitive to Jaycee’s story, and those like hers? This is a story involving kidnapping, rape, sexual slavery—some of the most atrocious and disgusting crimes to be committed, and all this guy has to say is ‘sorry you missed all of these great sports moments’? What about missing her childhood? The insensitivity of Mark Whicker is so repulsive, it even prompted TV personality Keith Olbermann to label Whicker as “worser” on his World’s Worst countdown.

Final side note: all of the “important” sports moments described by Whicker were for male sports. It would be too much information overload for her to know that the Women’s National Basketball Association was founded in 1997. The following year, the US won its first gold medal in women’s ice hockey. Or that the US women’s soccer team beat China in the one of the longest soccer games in history to win the 1999 World Cup. Perhaps even the arrival of Danica Patrick the first woman to win the Indy 500, is too hard to “digest.” How about Pat Summit, the women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, who recently became the most winningest college basketball coach of all time. If you’re going to talk about sports, then make sure you get it right.

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