So, by now, we’ve all seen Rob Gronkowski’s lap dance from last night’s Fox Sports 1 visit.
To post video of this, I believe, would make me complicit. But the question Julie Stewart-Binks posed to Gronkowski was this: “If you had a chance to make some more money using, maybe, me …” she said. “Wanna maybe show us a little Magic Mike?”
It’s not cute and it’s not funny.
Unoffically, of a sample of 100 women in sports journalism, 99 wouldn’t ask that question. One did and degraded the other 99.
Has a creepy precendent been set? Do we now have to ask interview subjects for lap dances? Let’s hope athletes are smarter than that. I know women are smarter than that. But given Stewart-Binks’ coy questioning and the display that followed, let’s clear this up right now:
There needs to be a rational understanding in the working world that women are not objects, and they cannot make themselves into that.
One of the tangents I saw last night was the straw-man argument that, “If Cam Newton did this …”
Right now, Cam Newton has a few bigger things on his mind, and I don’t know if A) he’d go on a talk show during the Super Bowl and B) if he’d take the chance to grind on a female reporter. Professionalism, you know?
Not to give Gronkowski a pass, but consider the unprofessionalism of last night’s exchange on both sides. Let’s talk about sports, not sex. Let’s discuss the topic at hand, not your past as an amateur Magic Mike.
This is not how reporters – male or female – develop their sources. This is not how we get the people we cover to open their minds to us, whether they’re a politician, a community leader, an athlete or a high school principal.
It’s not professional, or appropriate. It’s degrading and demeaning.
And we cannot give leeway to anyone who think it’s okay to somehow sexualize a professional exchange. Its not indicative of female journalists, or journalists, period.
And it’s not how you get a job.
On a related note, I get a kick out of this video – some of the questions/comments questions posed to female athletes and the responses that male athletes would give. Doesn’t objectification sound ridiculous?