Month: July 2010

We’re Not All Created Equal Even When It Comes to Sports


We’re Not All Created Equal Even When It Comes to Sports

Well the World Cup came and went almost in the blink of an eye but at the same time there was something not quite up to scratch in the way that the country was summarily portrayed for the outside world. Uppermost in my mind as the very fact that the hierarchy of the game merely wanted to have the event staged in order to show the rest of the world that the country of South Africa had overcome the vast abhorrence known as apartheid . That being said having watched segment of ESPN’s E 60 was appalled to find out that female participants in the game of soccer were being summarily gang raped if there was merely a hint of those players being lesbians . Many of the female victims were in fact lesbians and even with the cultural differences this shouldn’t be of any relevance for these women choosing to participate in a sport (soccer) that’s as beloved worldwide .

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Courtesy of ESPN

Female athletes often targets for rape

By Jeremy Schaap and Beein Gim ‘E:60’

KWA THEMA, South Africa — In the small, neat home she shares with a husband she describes as a broken man, Mally Simelane talks about her daughter, Eudy , who two years ago was gang-raped and stabbed to death.

“These children are ours,” she says, her hands folded across her kitchen table. “The gays and lesbians. I mean, we must accept our children. What they like, it’s up to them. We are not God to stop them.”

But there are those who are trying to stop them. And to punish them. To scare them. To change them. To “correct” them.

At the time of her murder, Eudy Simelane was almost a decade removed from her career on the South African women’s national soccer team. But at 31, she had become a well-respected youth coach, a passionate ambassador for the game she loved. Everyone knew she was gay.

At Eudy’s grave — not far from the creek where her tormentors dumped her mutilated corpse — Mally says, “I look at her picture. Then pray. Cry. Talk to her. Telling her, ‘I miss you.'”

The rationale?

For an act of such violence and malice, it’s called something so clinical: “corrective rape.”

“The phenomenon of corrective rape is based on the mistaken belief that through the violent act of rape, you can alter someone’s orientation, you can alter their identity,” says Jody Kollapen, the former chairman of the South African Human Rights Commission, a governmental organization. “The rationale would be that a woman who chooses to be lesbian has surely not had a relationship with a man, and therefore, if she has a relationship with a man, even if it’s a violent, forced one, that will surely convince her that the lifestyle she chose is inappropriate.”

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Now for those women who weren’t lesbians they were still subject to sexual assaults merely for associating with other women just happen to be of very different sexual orientation. The government of South Africa while being democratic still has long way to go in making all elements of its society placed on an equal footing. Apartheid, as a practice was horrendous in of itself but now sexual assaults on women merely because of their orientation? Clearly the message sent is one of intolerance by those who commit these heinous acts but at the same time whatever one’s moral or religious beliefs there s no way that one can condone those acts being appropriate in today’s society, Certainly not by any stretch of one’s imagination at this moment in time. When those actions did not lead to the women abating ther desires then their ritual rape and murder weren’t out of the question. There have been several such incidents that’ve cropped up cross the country . Many of the crimes in question have ether gone unsolved or un-investigated as the various law enforcement agencies have sought ways to divest themselves of the time to carry out a full investigation. Needless to say, humanitarian voices are now coming into play and forcing Jacob Zuma and his government to take a position on this all and be proactive..

South African President Jacob Zuma no stranger to controversy himself having been tried and acquitted of rape has been less then amenable to the plight of these victims. But then again what should one expect from man whose alleged victim was in fact a teenage girl? . Zuma would even make a provocative statement suggesting that the victim needed sex in order to learn what it was like to know what the pleasure of having a man inside of her meant. Needless to say those remarks by the President have come back to haunt him even to this day.

Courtesy of The Guardian UK

Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores ‘corrective’ attacks

• Women living in fear of brutal assaults by male gangs
• Country’s ‘macho politics’ lead to lack of action

By Annie Kelly of The Guardian UK

The partially clothed body of Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa’s acclaimed Banyana Banyana national female football squad, was found in a creek in a park in Kwa Thema, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Simelane had been gang-raped and brutally beaten before being stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs. As well as being one of South Africa’s best-known female footballers, Simelane was a voracious equality rights campaigner and one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in Kwa Thema.

Her brutal murder took place last April, and since then a tide of violence against lesbians in South Africa has continued to rise. Human rights campaigners say it is characterised by what they call “corrective rape” committed by men behind the guise of trying to “cure” lesbians of their sexual orientation.

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It’s bad enough that women are now subjected to numerous atrocities and degradations without now having a government that literally condones these actions nd who remain ominously silent when confronted or questioned on the matter. It is as if Jacob Zuma takes pride in such things. It’s bad enough that the country itself still remains the epicenter for the HIV-aids pandemic across the continent of Africa. Perhaps this too is also lost on Zuma and his government ?

What might be also be even more pertinent here is the very fact that while soccer’s governing body has gone out of its way to fight the rising tide of racism within the sport. Under Joseph “Sepp” Blatter’s leadership there has been very little done by the FIFA President and its members (FIFA ). Which begs the question if he’s unwilling to do anything other than merely suborn what has taken place long before the event was awarded to the country and knowing full well that this was all going on ? How can the game and ts hierarchy live with itself knowing that this continues and was taking place but yet they too also chose to remain silent ? .

Now while the sport of soccer has been something I’ve long loved since childhood. I know for a fact that there is an underbelly to the sport that once it rears its ugly head then others for some reason choose to run away from the ugliness rather than face the truth. They say that the truth shall set you free but freedom for these victims has been something of a myth . Because no one seems to care at all about ther plight . Sadly when your own government can’t show any concern then it gives credence to the fact that society as we know it is indeed changing for the worse and not for the better. Were these homosexual male victims would they be treated any differently and would in fact FIFA be taking a completely different stance altogether ?

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NB: Should you at all be interested in the subject matter then click on the link provided below to read up on the piece shown by the cable network.

Female athletes often targets for rape ………… . The segment itself was conducted and produced by noted ESPN journalist Jeremy Schaap .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

Eve ……………………..”Love is Blind

Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League


Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League

I found this story somewhat unbelievable when I’d heard that Detroit Lions’ President Tom Lewand has plead guilty to a DUI charge . Now far be it for me to suggest that it should just be the players that be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play. The image conscious NFL has been somewhat none compliant on this issue concerning the team executives . Had this been an NFL player pleading guilty to these serious charges then the story would be front and center with everyone opining on the matter. Instead it has been placed at the foot of the sports pages almost nowhere to be seen.

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Courtesy of The Detroit News

Lions’ Tom Lewand apologizes for ‘very, very serious mistake’

By Tim Twentyman , The Detroit News

Roscommon, Mich. –Tom Lewand stood in front of 83rd District Court Judge Daniel L. Sutton in Roscommon on Friday and admitted his guilt.

Charged with driving under the influence June 25, the Lions president pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months of probation, received a $532 fine and will have to complete an “intensive” outpatient alcohol recovery program. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.

If Lewand does not complete the program or violates probation, he could spend 60 days in jail, according to Sutton.

“I’d first like to thank Judge Sutton and prosecutor (Mark) Jernigan and Sheriff Stevenson for their professionalism and efficiency in dealing with this matter,” Lewand said afterward. “As I said before, I offer my complete apologies for my actions. I take full responsibility for them.

“I’m glad that this portion of those consequences for my actions is completed and I look forward to coming out of this a stronger and better person as a result of it.”

Lewand was stopped the night of June 25 by Roscommon County sheriff’s deputies on M-55 after deputies saw his Lincoln MKX moving erratically while exiting the Limberlost bar and restaurant near Houghton Lake.

Lewand failed a sobriety test, and when he refused to take a breathalyzer (PBT) test, he was handcuffed and arrested. The charge of failing to take a PBT test was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Lewand was in Houghton Lake attending the 30th annual Kolo Golf Outing, a charity event founded by Bob Kowalkowski, a former Lions offensive lineman who died last September.


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Commissioner Roger Goodell has been playing his cards close to his chest where no one can see them . And now when “the image” of the NFL is at its lowest up comes a story that would have most asking what the hell is going on ? An NFL executive being charged with drunk driving and the league itself has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Never mind that the Detroit Lions have not issued a statement on the matter but rather a curt apology from Lewand and that has been it. Why oh why am I not surprised by any of this at all ?

Call me crazy but now that the LeBron James’ saga is now over perhaps the most disappointed individuals are none other than the Cavaliers’ fans . But what I found most surprising was the fact that comedic actress Betty White had an opinion on the matter and the actress was very eloquent in her thoughts on the matter. White went so far as to suggest that she’d have spent the night with the young superstar if it was enough to entice him to remain with the team . Pardon me for saying but this might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as LeBron probably didn’t want it to get that the cause of him remaining in Cleveland was the fact that he bedded the octogenarian actress. Way to go LeBron , you missed out on a glorious opportunity but that being said could you have handled Betty to begin with ?

Hold unto your horses but the New York Yankees lost out on obtaining Seattle Mariners’ starting ace Cliff Lee . The two sides couldn’t agree on the compensation sought by the AL West team. And instead Lee will make his way to the Texas Rangers within the Mariner’ own division. As to the Yankees they may well now pursue other opportunities in terms of acquiring a starting pitcher to add their already burgeoning roster of pitchers. And it appears that team GM Brian Cashman won’t let this minor occurrence get in his way of strengthening the roster of this team. As good as they’ve been Cashman knows that nothing can be overlooked not when you’ve got both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays chasing you down within the division __(AL East) . Now when it’s all said and done the defending World Series champions would like to make another return to the postseason and thereby successfully defend their crown. Nothing less is expected from the organization where success is deemed the pinnacle and where “failure” is seen as not an option.

HBO the much vaulted cable network more widely known for its dramatic staple and first runs of box office success movies is also home to rather influential niche in the sport of boxing. Especially within the heavyweight division but recently the head of the sports programming Ross Greenburg has stated the cable network is no longer interested in televising fights within the heavyweight division as the public interest is no longer there. Now that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in the sport. But given the lack of credibility within the division and wherein the two best heavyweights refuse to meet each other in an undisputed unification bout because of familial ties. This decision will have some serious ramifications for the sport as HBO and its parent company Time Warner are one of the primary sponsors of PPV. And without that to hang its hat on then the division and the various international governing bodies within the sport are at something of a loss. And for champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko the big paydays that they’re both no doubt looking for won’t be forthcoming, not unless they are prepared to fight each other in an undisputed title unification bout. The fighters , their managers and respective promoters have simply made a mockery of the division and the pretext that the problem as to the malaise within the division has nothing to do with them is a complete misnomer. As it has everything to do with and the diabolical situation within the heavyweight division.

The fact of the matter is that the division has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since the retirement of the British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2004. And since then the championship has found itself in its various forms in the hands of the Ukrainian, Klitschko brothers. Ability wise , watching either brother fight is a rather mundane and at time painful experience . A tooth extraction without the use of anesthesia would be far less painful than watching either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. And such is the scene of heavyweight boxing that there are no real credible opponents within the division and that’s with due respect to WBA champion David Haye .

Well known and legendary promoters Don King and Bob Arum once the most gregarious of showmen seem to be more interested in dividing the spoils between them in the lighter divisions. And for King this would be something of a come down given the stable of credible heavyweight fighters that he’s either managed or promoted over the years. And Bob Arum for his part , well his main concern is to create the buzz and promote what has been described as what will be the biggest fight in boxing . The proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao promises to be that and a great deal more . But as of yet no concrete timetable has been set as to where the bout will be staged. This much we do know however , it will be by far the most anticipated and biggest grossing fight in history without a doubt. And the fight itself will be co-promoted by Top Rank Inc , Golden Boy Promotions Inc in conjunction with Mayweather’s own fledgling promotional company.

Everyone involved in that aspect of the bout will end up being a winner. At $49-95 per viewer and with an anticipated 2 million buys expected the gross via the sales only here in North America will top $100 million and when one takes into account the international interest that figure is liable to double without taking into account ticket sales and merchandising .

A $200 million grossing fight would be unimaginable but it is in the offing should this proposed bout take place. One would expect both fighters to be handsomely rewarded for their exploits and suffice to say that having fought then retirement could very well be beckoning for both fighters. With Pacquiao pursuing a political career in his native Philippines and Mayweather looking to cross over into the business side of the sport , boxing could very well face some lean times ahead.. Say what you will however much of this malaise within the sport has been brought about by the lack of authority from the various international governing bodies and their unwillingness to do what is inherently best for the sport.

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Slide show for your perusal. Use the arrow indicators to guide through the frames.

If sport is so much about its image then why is it a great deal of the time when there’s something inherently wrong , so why is it that the proper authorities are so slow to act ? The answer could well lie in the fact that those who are actually in power either have very little intelligence or they are for all sense purpose merely a puppet while it is the marionette who is indeed pulling the strings . Your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece are welcome and I will do my best to respond with a succinct and clear answer. Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

Chris Brown ……….. feat’g Tyga & Kevin McCall …….. ” Deuces”