Is it wrong that I’m rooting for the U.S. Women’s National Team to lose, and humiliatingly so, this Olympics? Of course it’s not wrong. The USWNT, led by America’s favorite histrionic Megan Rapinoe, protested against racism and discrimination by taking the knee before their first Olympic match. Though the stadium was empty (certainly nothing new to the USWNT), the attending “reporters” revived each other with smelling salts to swoon and gape at the unparalleled fortitude exhibited by these privileged virtue-signalers in what was dubbed a “social justice reckoning”.
I find soccer thoroughly unwatchable and, if forced to choose, I’d rather do something less painful like chew broken glass. But I won’t deny being smugly satisfied to read that the USWNT got massacred by Sweden. And there are a few other athletes for whose wokism I’m hoping ends in face plants:
Apparently, there’s a sport called hammer throwing, and Gwen Berry excels at it. Unfortunately, hammer throwing doesn’t draw the crowds that swimming and gymnastics do. In fact, had Berry not turned her back and disrespected the U.S. national anthem, most people would never have heard of her.
After the sought-after backlash, Berry parroted the usual yard sign witticisms about how the anthem doesn’t represent her, and about how she wants America to “be good to everybody, and not just for the elite or the white supreme.” It’s hard to believe that anyone who gets corporate sponsorship for playing with hammers sincerely feels oppressed in any way, shape, or form. This is simply her “look at me” moment, and it’s not about anything except her own ego.
Not to be out-woke by the Yanks, German gymnast Sarah Voss decided to combat the objectification of women. But not the approximately 1200 women who were sexually assaulted in Cologne and Hamburg a few New Years Eves ago by roving gangs of a certain “underserved” community which the German government then tried to cover up. Rather, Voss decided to combat “sexualization in gymnastics” by ditching her leotard for a unitard that exposes the arms rather than the legs. Now, I have no qualms with whatever outfit an athlete feels comfortable wearing but had Voss not said anything, I doubt I or most others would have even noticed the transition. But Voss did say something.
After the sought-after backlash never materialized, because nobody cares about this nonissue, the swarming activists nonetheless tried to sell this as some sort of Selma bridge moment. At IPSO, Antonia Wille gushed that Voss “started a movement” and that “the whole world will know the fighter for self-determination.” “It’s not just about the uniform,” quipped Akilah Carter-Francique, the San Jose State University executive director for the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change. “It’s about creating equity, inclusion, and space… to use sport as a place of empowerment”.
Of course. The Olympics are about creating equity. But as far as Voss being remembered ad infinitum as a Louise Sawyer on the uneven bars? She’ll be forgotten before summer’s end.
Laurel Hubbard is a professional weightlifter from New Zealand. He is also a biological man. As he grew, his body developed differently than that of a woman. Due to testosterone levels and a number of other genetic factors, men on average have greater muscle mass, bone density, lung capacity, hemoglobin levels, and height than do women. Hubbard, who now identifies as a woman, will be competing in women’s weightlifting with these physical structures having been firmly entrenched during puberty. No matter what hormonal treatments Hubbard uses, he always has and always will retain these structural advantages over female competitors. That’s not transphobia. That’s Biology 101.
Trans activists do the usual sidestep by accusing anyone who follows the science as being “anti-trans.” But there is a very simple method to determine whether or not transgender athletes sincerely feel that hormonal treatments create a level playing field, and the method is this: How many transgender males (women who transition to men) are 1) competing in men’s sports, and 2) breaking records, winning scholarships, and making short work of their biological male competitors? Zero. It’s suspiciously convenient that, once Hubbard began identifying as a woman, he took up a sport in which a “woman” with a man’s body could easily crush the competition and win gold medals.
Hubbard’s identification as a woman, and the Olympics’ craven prioritization of wokeness over science, is unfair to every female weightlifter who trained her entire life to get to that podium. You can support women’s rights, or you can support men who identify as women competing in women’s sports, but you can’t support both.
Other empty gestures have sullied the Olympics as well. The Australian women’s soccer team “wanted to take a stand” and posed holding an Aboriginal flag. White athlete of privilege Sam Kerr explained, “We are really proud of it. It was something we spoke a lot to as a team. We let the Indigenous girls drive it.”
One wonders how the Australian aboriginals would react if the New Zealanders sent a man to compete in their women’s sports.
On the other hand, it doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that there will be people for whom no flag will fly, no knee will bend, and no fist will rise.
The three million or so Muslim Uyghurs who are languishing in Chinese prison camps and being used as slave labor.
The Cubans who, as we speak, are risking their lives by marching in the streets (and flying American flags) in protest against communist oppression.
The Jews and Asians being viciously attacked in broad daylight in cities across America due solely to their ethnicity, the mounting evidence of which has left the talking heads having quite a hard time blaming on “white supremacy”.
The Yazidis, Copts, Chaldeans, and other religious minorities (not to mention all women) who continue to be silenced, murdered, and otherwise persecuted across the Middle East.
The poverty-stricken of Venezuela, the socialist paradise trumpeted by the Left, where newborn babies are placed in cardboard boxes and where conditions are so dire that the U.N. has begun distributing food rations. Championing these people would take actual moral courage, even if the supportive gestures themselves are pathetic and meaningless. In other words, don’t expect our activist athletes to feign concern anytime soon. They’ll stick with what’s safe, what’s trendy, what’s profitable, and what wins achievement awards.
And this is what the Olympics is coming to — another stale wokefest. As with the Oscars and music awards and domestic sports and national holidays and everything else, the Left is managing to destroy yet another institution that was designed specifically to be politically neutral with the goal of bringing diverse peoples together in a common cause. Ratings will inevitably suffer, which the activist athletes will consider proof of their moral superiority, and to which they will respond by doubling down, which will result in even lower ratings.
For all the patriotic Americans competing, who possess a sense of humility, decency, and gratitude, and whose impressive feats will, unfortunately, be overshadowed by the aforementioned juvenile stunts, I’m rooting for you. But I have to do it with the TV off.
Christopher Skeet | Columnist
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