Grow Up, Folks, Lay Off Baylor's Brittney Griner

Enough with the 'man' jokes, say two writers

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 4, 2012 1:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Brittney Griner is a force in women's college basketball, the proof being Baylor's shiny new trophy. The 21-year-old also happens to be 6-foot-8 and muscular, and she speaks in a low voice. Cue the "she's-a-man" jokes on Twitter and elsewhere. (Notre Dame's coach said after the game that Griner is "like a guy playing with women" and clarified later that it was meant purely as a compliment.) As for the insults being hurled around questioning her gender, two writers come to Griner's defense:

  • Tracee Hamilton, Washington Post: So Mike Tyson's high voice must make him a woman, then? Sports should be an escape, "not just one more outlet for us to use to attack what we don’t understand and spew hate toward those who look or sound different than us." Full column here.

  • Rachael Larimore, Slate: Because there's a "wider talent disparity" in the women's game, "the stars are really going to stand out—and yes, they’re going to get compared to men." That's what Notre Dame's coach was getting at. The "jerks on Twitter," though, were cracking their unfunny, sexist jokes based solely on her looks. "To generate faux outrage about well-meaning comments from a women’s basketball coach takes away from the real outrage we should be feeling about an accomplished athlete being belittled for her appearance." Full column here.

Baylor center Brittney Griner reacts to her shot during the second half of the title game.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Baylor forward Brooklyn Pope (32) and Baylor center Brittney Griner (42) react to a play during the second half.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Baylor's Brittney Griner answers questions.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Baylor center Brittney Griner smiles as she walks off the court on April 1.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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