Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Lambert

Chick fight! Why female sports violence is a big deal

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The New York Times takes on a topic that is sure to guarantee plenty of web visits by disappointed fetishists: girls fighting.

In particular, the Times’ Jere Longman is wondering, what’s all the hubbub, bub, about breathless coverage of athletic girlfights such as Baylor’s Brittney Griner punching an opponent in a women’s college basketball game, girls’ teams going at it in their Rhode Island high school soccer championship, and, the drama queen of them all, Elizabeth Lambert’s hair-pulling performance for the New Mexico women’s soccer team.

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Yeah, you’ve seen Elizabeth Lambert pull hair, but have you seen her do it to the Mortal Kombat remix?

Longman talks with coaches and experts who surmise that perhaps girls’ and women’s sports have gotten more violent as women’s sports have gotten more competitive and, in some cases, more financially lucrative. Or that the coverage of fights is out of proportion to the usual mass coverage of women’s sports, which is to say not much coverage at all. Then there’s the whole idea that people still see women as delicate flowers who would never resort to fisticuffs.

The story doesn’t go into the larger societal debate over whether girls in general are getting more violent, something you might hear in disappointed tones from police breaking up another school fight, or in hopeful tones from the proprietors of (home of EXPLOSIVE FIGHT VIDEOS).

Actually, the rate of girls fighting appears to be about the same, with about one-quarter of girls ages 12-17 reporting being involved in a violent incident in two separate national surveys between 2002 and 2008. In its version of the story on the survey, the New York Daily News helpfully illustrates it with stock art of two women about to get their fight on in a battle that will inevitably end with their clothes torn off and them locked in naked embrace bow chicka wow wow.

I’ll tell you why their is intense coverage of females fighting during athletic events, and it’s the same reason Maria Sharapova highlights are guaranteed to make an appearance — because they give a lot of men a hard-on. Maybe the fights don’t technically excite them in the same way as Sharapova in a tennis skirt, but it’s better than Viagra all the same.


Written by rkcookjr

March 21, 2010 at 2:12 am

Elizabeth Lambert, you're not alone: R.I. girls' soccer championship ends in brawl

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To hear the coverage of infamous New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert, you’d think that except for her, female soccer players are sugar and spice and everything nice.

Well, there is plenty of spice, at least, as witnessed Nov. 8 near the end of the MetLife Soccer Classic Girls Division IV Championship in Providence, R.I.

The game was called with about a minute left, with Woonsocket up 5-0 over Tolman, after a fight between two players escalated into a brawl that cleared both benches. Budding soccer goons representing both sides started fighting in the stands during the post-game awards ceremony.

Under Rhode Island Interscholastic League rules, any player involved in a fight must sit out five games. If the player is a senior, she must sit out the first five games of the next sport she players. If she’s an underclassmen, she sits out the first five games of the next season. The league is investigating to determine whom to punish.

You see the fight start here:

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And here you can see Woonsocket’s coach, Kathy Fagnan, all hepped up, not exactly apologize for what happened. “We’re both physical teams … at some point someone snapped … I don’t know what really happened, I wasn’t on the field … Not to put a blame on anybody, it could be us, too, we were going back and forth … I don’t know, we had the advantage, we had good spirit — you know, I’m not gonna take the fall for that.”

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About that study that says sports doesn’t cause white girls to fight? That researcher might want to double-check her notes.

In praise of Elizabeth Lambert, role model

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You may well have seen the above video ad nauseum — the one in which New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert elbows, kicks and hair-pulls her way around the field against Brigham Young while losing 1-0 Nov. 5 in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

After the round-the-clock tut-tutting and screams of “catfight!” it’s no surprise that New Mexico has indefinitely suspended the junior defender, an action the conference supported. Lambert apologized.

To which I say, apologize for what? For being aggressive? For showing girls how to be tough on the field? For not being sufficiently “ladylike” for a male sports establishment? For doing things that, if she were male, would have been mostly laughed off? Like, say, this Oct. 31 eye gouge by Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, which got him suspended by his team for one measly half against its next opponent, the far weaker Vanderbilt? (Spikes later suspended himself for the full game.)

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The above action is consider par for the course in football, where anything goes in a dogpile. So no harm, right? Spikes wasn’t a goon — he was tough!

My 10-year-old daughter has her first basketball game (with me coaching) today (Nov. 7), and I won’t say that I will plop her in front of the Lambert video and say, here’s how you do it. But I will say there’s nothing wrong with a girl mixing it up, playing hard, bumping people and other playing aggressively to the point other people are scared enough to get out of your way. (My 4-year-old daughter, it appears, so far does not need that encouragement.)

So Elizabeth Lambert, you might’ve gooned it up, and you might have had your tail forced between your legs for gooning it up. But also know you taught the world a lesson that girls can dish shit out — and that the world needn’t react in horror when they do. That is, as long as they don’t react in horror when a male athletes does the same thing.

Written by rkcookjr

November 7, 2009 at 3:03 am