Tedder

Equality and Pelvic Thrusts

The Train Daddy is back, the Madness of March is behind us, and the future is sexy! April brings showers, then next it’s May that brings flowers and thank the good Lord the kickoff of football gets nearer and nearer as the days go on.

Just be warned, you have never read a sports article like this. It’s what I do—I love it, it’s a hobby, a passion. I feel I owe you, the reader, my best, or why do this? I put my opinions and thoughts onto paper without feeling the need to be politically correct. I am a man who has equal respect for every man and woman in this universe. Why? Because my mother was Vulcan.

Why do I feel the need to always stress the fact that I am not politically correct? Well, Spock himself wasn’t politically correct—his Vulcan roots didn’t allow him to lie or stretch the truth. A Vulcan is all reason and logic, never having interference from emotion. I try to be honorable and honest but being half American and half Vulcan makes it hard, and sometimes my emotions explode. Imagine Spock as one of Hillary Clinton’s advisors: he would probably fear she was a spawn of Khan, a danger to society. Choo-choo!

So, what shall we discuss in this issue? Let’s start with some quick shout-outs and observations. First off, congrats to MTSU and the men’s basketball program. MTSU had a massive first-round victory over Michigan State and represented for their school, fans and community with class. Murfreesboro is on the map! With a program rejuvenated, let’s just hope the fans progress as fast as the team has done on the court.

Congrats to the Nashville Predators, who made the NHL playoffs! The Predators barely clinched what appears to be a wild-card spot. They were the seventh team from the west to qualify. They nearly squandered their chance, but they squeezed out a spot. The NHL playoffs begin April 13. Cell Block 303 is ready to curse, yell and frighten babies; they are some of the most devoted fans out there!

James Harrison

James Harrison

Not much going on in the NFL world. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison released a video of himself pelvic-thrusting 528 pounds, a strange video, no doubt. I guess if he ever had to hump his way through a barrier of heavy objects, he’s your man! I then attempted to find out how much weight I could thrust. I don’t know the exact weight, but I can pelvic-thrust a Ford Excursion seven feet forward, a mighty endeavor indeed. I spent about two hours thrusting until I got the Ford going. James Harrison’s pelvic thrust is pure power; my pelvic thrusts are precise and quick. Choo-choo!

So, let’s get into the main topic of this issue: women! Wonder Woman made her debut in the new Batman V Superman movie and she was badass—girl power is the topic here.

They say Donald Trump has a woman problem: it’s said that 70% of women voters in America view him as unfavorable. Donald Trump has nothing to do with what I am about to discuss, but women do. Do you think Wonder Woman would beat Donald Trump senseless if the two of them met? Yes!

So, we have a WNBA controversy dealing with lowering the hoop, currently set at 10 feet, the same as the NBA. We also have Team USA, the Women’s National Soccer Team, filing a wage discrimination action vs. U.S. Soccer.

Reigning WNBA most valuable player Delle Donne unveiled her support for lowering the basketball rim. As I said, the rim is set at 10 feet, exactly the same height NBA players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant must reach to slam. Some women in the league can dunk, but they are few and far between. Literally, I can count on one hand how many women have dunked in the WNBA; dunking is foreign in that league.

Donne, the Chicago Sky superstar, believes lowering the rim would help achieve equality between men and women’s basketball, something the WNBA desperately needs. Another WNBA superstar and Donne’s Olympic teammate Diana Taurasi is opposed to the idea, stating,  “[They] might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen.”

Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi

Donne called Taurasi’s kitchen comment “frustrating” and then said, “The biggest issue I have with what Taurasi said is how degrading that is to women athletes in general, because when you look at sports—volleyball, the nets are lower; golf, women’s tees are closer. And if you want to talk about Serena Williams, she plays less sets than the men so are you going to tell her to put a skirt on and go back to the kitchen?” An excellent point, if I say so myself.

Donne is in good company; the dominant University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma introduced the idea of lowering the rim in 2012. Coach Geno has won 11 NCAA titles and a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics; he is the voice of women’s basketball since Pat Summitt retired. He believes lowering the rim in college ball and the WNBA would be beneficial to women’s basketball.

As Phoenix Mercury guard Monique Currie also stated, “When you watch a men’s basketball game there is usually a dunk almost every other play and fans love it!”

Why didn’t anyone make a big deal about putting the WNBA three-point line four feet closer than that of the NBA, or complain that the basketball is smaller than that of the men’s league?

Don’t get upset, feminists, but men are physically stronger than women, who have, on average, less total muscle mass, both in absolute terms and relative to total body mass. Men also have denser, stronger bones, tendons and ligaments. Don’t blame me, people, it’s science! And don’t twist my words up; I am not downplaying these women’s amazing abilities. I stand right at six feet tall, and I have no doubt any player in the WNBA would destroy me in a pickup game.

I think it would be for the best to lower the rim. Sure, the game would change, players would have to adapt. I don’t want to hear any silly jabs like Diana’s crazy kitchen remarks. Lowering the rim doesn’t diminish these amazing athletes. These women are undeniably shorter than their male counterparts, on average by about 7 inches.

The WNBA is entering its 20th season as a league. These athletes often play in half-empty arenas and get lucky if their game is aired on ESPN 2. Lower the rim! Give us awesome dunks and higher shooting percentages; I want to see these athletes fighting in the paint, defenders smashing away dunks, and dunkers dunking the sauce all over the defenders! The game would only thrive lowering the rim and allowing these women to utilize all the same moves used in the NBA.

Hope Solo

Hope Solo

New subject—five members of Team USA, including Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, have filed a wage discrimination action vs. U.S. soccer. Like Biggie said, “Mo money, mo problems” . . . or is it “no money, mo problems”?

The filing cites that, despite the women generating $20 million more in revenue than the U.S. men’s team made last year, they are paid about a quarter of what the men make. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will conduct an investigation and determine if compensation is warranted. The law firm representing these women also represented Tom Brady and Ray Rice in recent cases.

But the Unites States Soccer Federation is defending itself, saying the complaints have no merit. They state that the women signed a collective bargaining agreement, and are complaining about terms they insisted on and agreed to. They also claim that the men’s club outpaced the women in revenue nearly 2–1 over the years, despite what the women claimed in their filing. They don’t dispute that the women have been more successful on the field, but the notion that they bring in more money and thus deserve more compensation is a fallacy. Legal counsel for the USSF also pointed out that the women agreed to a salary rather than a more risky bonus structure such as the men have. They also pointed out that there are benefits in the women’s contract that aren’t in the men’s, such as severance pay when cut, dental, vision and health insurance, pregnancy leave with 50% pay and a guaranteed salary when injured.

The Women’s Player Association submitted a proposal for equal pay, equal work as its guiding principle. No offense, but “equal pay, equal work” is not the way it works in sports. Their current contract was negotiated in 2006, expired in 2012 and was replaced by a memorandum with some updated terms. The federation maintains this serves as a full contract until the end of the Rio Olympics, and then a new contract can be proposed for 2017 and beyond.

After their dominant success on the field and lack of success on the men’s side, I don’t blame them for being dissatisfied with their current contract.

So, how will this play out? Well, unless it is dismissed for whatever reason, the EEOC can take up to 10 months to investigate the claim. Once the investigation is complete (if ever) and the findings state that U.S. soccer violated federal law, a settlement will be attempted. If no settlement can be reached then a lawsuit would be filed against the USSF.

Maybe FIFA should be the target of blame, not the USSF. I mean, most people who know the game know that the USSF has done more good for women’s soccer than probably any other group out there. They have been the number-one advocate for women’s soccer over the decades when everyone else laughed. Look at these numbers: FIFA paid $2 million to the women’s U.S. team for their 2015 World Cup Victory; they paid the German men’s team $35 million for their World Cup victory. They also paid the U.S. men’s team $8 million and they were knocked out in the round of 16. FIFA states the men’s tournament produces 20 to 30 times more revenue than the women’s, and that’s why they pay the men more.

Women’s soccer may be doing well here in America, but they have little competition. That’s not their fault, but it be true, folks. Only a few countries in Europe, North America and Asia take women’s soccer seriously, while the men’s team is one among 200 national teams, all with championship ambitions.

Team USA women should be compensated for their recent success in their new contract that is due soon. They have smart lawyers who, I am sure, can help create a fair and balanced deal. Hopefully this won’t turn into some movement that Clinton and Sanders will politicize.

Go out there, U.S. women, and win another Olympic gold medal. Then come back, smack a member of the USSF in the face with the gold and say, “Give me my damn money!”

Time to wrap this thing up (always a good idea, gentlemen). So, what have we learned? Dunking is awesome, so let’s make it possible for women to dunk in the pros, and who knows, maybe the college level as well. I just dunked a chicken nugget in some BBQ sauce right as I typed this sentence—it was so awesome! Wait a minute, honey mustard dunk! I’m being serious—I am eating chicken nuggets right now. But ladies and gentleman, it’s not over yet, chicken-in-the-ranch-dressing dunk. “Boom Shaka Laka”! Until next time, peace out, my friends!

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About the Author

The Z-Train is a Murfreesboro resident and enjoys all sports, but bleeds code blue for his beloved Titans, who will one sweet day bring home that beautiful Lombardi Trophy to Tennessee. Always remember the Train's big F's: Faith, Family, Friends, Food and FOOTBALL!

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