Monday, January 21, 2008

The Slow-Mo Venus-Butt Controversy

Lleyton Hewitt's ex-coach, Roger Rasheed, is in a tiny bit of hot water after playing a slo-mo of Venus' butt and commenting that it looked pretty good. I can't argue with that, can you?

Rasheed's comment may be a tad to the inappropriate side of things, but not by much. Women commentators (and men) make remarks about Rafa's giant arms or James Blake's modeling career. Venus designs these short shorts, so it should come as no surprise that they end up a topic of conversation. 

For me the line involves the sexualization of minors. Nothing Rasheed said here begins to compare to the vile public drooling that happened whenever Anna Kournikova took the court as a 14-year old. I wonder if You Tube has video of the ESPN Sportscenter anchors with their tongue's hanging out every night. It was terrible public pedophilia, if you ask me. Kournikova brought nothing but bad things to tennis. Her "success" was a blueprint for disgusting parents eager to pimp out their pre-pubescent daughters for money. (See Harkelroad, Ashley). This unfortunate trend has spilled over into other sports. This is probably a topic for another time, but here goes. I think it's great to show off your body. But it's also a dicey proposition. Where does self-promotion become objectification? I hate golf, including women's golf. A few years ago there was talk by the LPGA that they needed their women to be more trampy to improve the ratings. THAT is the kind of bad stuff I'm talking about.

Now if Rasheed would've commented on Serena's big booty, well, that would be a different story and is a topic you best steer clear of if you want to have a job. I have a feeling that discussion would provoke an international incident. 

Bottom line (I know, I know, I just had to use that pun):  The Slo-Mo-Butt-Cam was a mistake. However, our Australian friends haven't convened a tribunal to sentence Rasheed, nor are they going to spend the next two months debating this. Perhaps it is we Yanks who  ought to lighten up. 

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