Women of UofL strike back at Sports Illustrated

Female Power

By now, you probably know about Sports Illustrated’s article about the culture at the University of Louisville and how it is unsafe for females and female athletes and so on. Most people knew right away that it was pretty ridiculous and very untrue. I could have written about it myself. But it holds a lot more weight when a female gives her perspective, and that is what has been happening since the article came out.

Speaking of the original article, you can look it up if you would like. I don’t want to give the guy anymore clicks, because he doesn’t deserve any of them, so I won’t post it here.

Since that time, there have been at least three posts that have been published from some female voices at the University of Louisville. Dallas Knierman got it all started. Soon after, Paige Sherrard spoke her mind. Then later, Daryl Foust followed suit and gave her opinion on the SI article. If I missed anyone, I apologize. These are just the main three that I have come across.

I want to make sure their respective sites get the views they deserve, so I won’t post their full articles here. But I will post a little excerpt from each and give you the link so you can read the rest. It is worth your time, especially if you read the terrible and inaccurate article from Sports Illustrated.

First up, Dallas Knierman:

Anyway, you quote Redmond Brown as saying, “If I’m a female at that school, and I’m finding out this is happening on that basketball team, it sets me up as a sitting duck. I’m going after that school. It goes back to that culture. These cultures are being set up, and nobody is watching anything. Nobody is supervising. This throws gasoline on the entire fire.” Now let me just stop you there, one more time.Sitting ducks? Really? That might have pissed me off more than the title of your hack job article – and that’s saying something. How do you go from giving the AP reason to say you are in the top 10 in your field to being proud enough of an article as hypocritical as this to publish it with your name associated?

Not only are you going as far as to say that the University of Louisville is a dangerous culture for women, you’re doing it based off the opinion of a woman who founded an organization that targets athletes who visited this campus almost half my lifetime ago. Even better, you’re a writer for SPORTS. ILLUSTRATED. Need I remind you that you’re calling out a campus that breeds a culture of objectifying women in a publication that has a specifically dedicated swimsuit edition? Does hypocritical even cut it on this one, Michael? I understand that Sports Illustrated has some personal vendetta against Louisville (don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten getting snubbed for a cover back in 2013), but seriously? You’ve got some real cojones to accuse, “They don’t even know where the lines are. They don’t care. They don’t even think about it. They see a woman, and they think she is there to have sex with them.” You have a daughter. How do you think Audrey would react to this? Knowing that you work for a company that proudly uses sex to sell magazines while you’re out here throwing stones at a program that has yet to be proven guilty? Knowing that you sold your journalistic integrity for a leg up and better exposure by exploiting a scandal? I love my dad and he is one of my best friends, but I can’t begin to fathom how ashamed I would be of him for doing what you did.

I am a 21 year old, female, senior at the University of Louisville. Have I been in fear during my time at UofL? Sure. I’ve been terrified of economics finals, of crossing 3rd Street in front of Ekstrom library, of walking alone at night. But you want to know something that I’ve never been afraid of? Being a sitting duck for our athletes, or any man on this campus for that matter, to “use whenever and however they please.” I was raised to be a strong, independent woman who can damn well take care of myself. “Sitting duck” isn’t in my vocabulary, so please stop degrading women this way – even if the words are not your own. In addition to being as self-sufficient as I am (and every woman I have met here is as well), during my 3 1/2 years here in Louisville, I’ve met my fair share of athletes and people associated with the athletics department. I have worked with these men in my classes, I have eaten meals with these men, I have been lucky enough to have grown to be close friends with some of these men. Coming to Louisville knowing a grand total of 2 people, I found myself surrounded by a compassionate, kind, protective group of people who had my back – without me even asking. I remember one specific incident from my freshman year like it was yesterday…  I was out with a few friends when a male I didn’t know started flirting with me, and refusing to take the hint I was anything but interested. The next thing I knew I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder, and when I turned around I saw a friend of mine who played football with a few of his teammates standing behind me. He proceeded to explain to this boy exactly how a female should be treated before personally seeing to it that I made it back to my room safely.

Click here to read the full post from Dallas. 

Next up, Paige Sherrard:

Dear Sports Illustrated,

As an alumna of the University of Louisville, I can confidently say the university does NOT nurture an unsafe environment for female students. During my time at the University of Louisville women were empowered through various organizations. Women led the Student Government Association (SGA) and held top positions in organizations across the campus. The University of Louisville fostered a culture of respect towards its female student population. The university celebrated a week each year dedicated to promoting female empowerment. These are only a few examples of how the University of Louisville empowers its female students.

I was in shock when your article alleged, “the school’s athletic department is teaching its male athletes that women can be used and discarded.” I was lucky enough to intern in the Athletic Department (Sports Information Department). I felt empowered each time I sat amongst the strong female Sports Information Directors. You see, the University of Louisville’s Athletic Department is not run by chauvinistic men. I invite you to look at the University of Louisville’s Athletic Department Staff. There are many women who hold top positions in the Athletic Department. I doubt any of the women on the staff would tolerate an environment of disrespect.

Saying the university teaches the male athletes that women can be, “used and discarded,” insinuates that Vice President/Athletic Director Tom Jurich condones such behavior. Based on your article, it’s evident that you did not do your journalist duties and research. So let me fill you in on a not so little secret. Tom Jurich’s daughters were student athletes at the University of Louisville. Do you REALLY think he would jeopardize the well being of his daughters?? Expanding on that, do you think he would put any student athletes, male or female, livelihood and well being in danger?? Such allegations are absurd. There’s a reason, year after year, Tom Jurich is praised for being one of the best Athletic Directors in the nation.

Click here to read Paige’s full article.

Last up, Daryl Foust:

Ah-hum.. excuse me?  I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph without coughing up the disgust that churned in my belly after reading it. Let me back up and ask you, Michael… when was the last time you came to Louisville? Better yet, when was the last time you were a woman?  You’re currently hearing from the voice of a Class of 2015 Sport Administration major (currently ranked #9 in the education of sport by Albert Fontenot of sport_management_degrees.com) and I do not recall the ‘disposed female’ course being a requirement or even an elective.

For you, Michael, you chose to shift blame amid controversy to the entire university as one that ‘teaches’ the objectification of women rather than to hold the female, who’s teaching her own DAUGHTERS such, responsible for your own ridiculous accusations. The same female with zero affiliation to the university other than to ‘make her buck’ as the ‘sitting duck‘ I believe is how you phrased it?

Oh and I don’t expect a response to this telling me how wrong I am because I checked the Sports Illustrated’s most updated writers list and to no surprise, did not find a single female reporter or whatever you call yourselves there.  I wanted to make this short and unsweet because I’m afraid I’m losing your attention. Oh wait, one second….

Click here to read Daryl’s full post.

If one thing can be taken from all of this, I would say that you don’t mess with/insult the women of UofL!

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