Behind the lines: Games are great, just not the political kind…

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    From the inflammatory rhetoric, you’d think that politics mixing with sport was a recent trend, but that’s far from the truth.

    The only Olympic level athlete in my family was unable to compete due to politics. My grandfather enlisted in the Swiss Cavalry soon after the opening of World War I in August of 1914. He was the Swiss Army champion in equestrian jumping, clearing 7-4 with his horse to win the title.


    He was scheduled to compete in the 1916 Olympics in the event, but the massive, mindless carnage of European nations destroying the flower of their youth at Ypres, Verdun, and Flanders canceled the games. The War to End All Wars, as World War I was called at the time, reconvened with the games canceled again in 1940 and 1944 as many of the same combatants went at it again after a generational pause.

    Arab extremists murdered Jews in Munich at the games in 1972. American track athletes were stripped of their medals four years earlier in Mexico City after raising black, gloved fists during the National Anthem as they received their awards in the 400-meter dash in protest against discrimination against Black people back in the USA.

    In 1980, the US boycotted the games in Moscow in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan then we invaded the same nation a generation later and left with the same result the USSR experienced in losing after an expensive campaign against the Taliban and other groups.

    It does get tiring after a while.


    Now we have another issue with men competing as women with the political lines so obscured that you can’t get your bearings.

    I was entering my sophomore year of high school when Title IX was passed in June of 1972. For two generations the groundbreaking legislation that allows high school girls and college women to compete on an equal basis with boys and men was considered a liberal idea, though it was signed into law by President Richard Nixon.

    Make no mistake, I am an ardent fan of Title IX. The girls need the same opportunities as the boys in prep and middle school athletics. I’ve coached girls in track and field at both levels and coached junior high girls’ basketball as well.


    The skills, confidence, and teamwork they learn are identical to that of the boys, but if the “Woke” movement has its way, soon there will be no more girls playing basketball, volleyball, swimming, or any other sport. They will fall to the wave of political correctness and the idea of females competing separately in the same sports as males will become a distant memory.

    It’s not fair for men to compete as women in any sport, period. I don’t care if they believe they’re women, their biology says differently, and its biology, primarily in the area of testosterone and overall muscle mass that gives men the advantage.

    The hoopla surrounding the US Women’s failed attempt in the Soccer World Cup is a case in point. Somewhere in the mix of blue hair, rabid feminism, and nation hating, they lost sight of the target. When the darling of the left started spouting off about men competing as women it struck me as strange. Megan Rapinoe, often slammed as “Blue Boy” by her many detractors, saw no problem with men competing as women on the world stage.


    Back up the truck just a few feet. The best the United States could offer in world class soccer lost an exhibition match with a bunch of 15-year-old boys. That’s not a surprise, and nothing to be ashamed of as women, the boys were faster, stronger, more agile, and physically superior. It doesn’t lessen what the US team could have been, it’s just simple biology, and Rapinoe and her followers realize that they just won’t accept it politically.

    In our present flag waving, jingoistic era, it was odd to see overwhelming support for anyone who played the American women. Sure, there were teams that were hard to like such as the 2000 USA men’s volleyball team, but that is so out of alignment with the rabid support most of our national teams generate that it was just a blip on the radar. Not so with the USA Women in the World Cup, they were openly despised by all but their most ardent fans.

    Early in my coaching career, I officiated a game between a freshman boys’ basketball team and a girls’ varsity team that was about to win its second consecutive state championship. We called the game when the boys were up 15-2. The boys’ team went 9-9 that year and the girls were state champions. Once again it is just simple biology. Girls deserve to play, but it’s ludicrous to think they’re physically equal to boys after they enter puberty. It’s just not nature’s way.

    I’m sure this offends some of the hardened believers in equal rights, but this isn’t advocating less access for girls, it is supporting protecting it.

    If the USA wanted to win women’s sports at an international level in perpetuity, all they have to do is get a group of young men to declare they are women and watch the trophies roll in.

    This adherence to the misguided belief that declaring yourself female gives you the right to win NCAA championships is insane. Insane, and not fair to the girls and women who work so hard to reach the national stage.

    In just one example, Florence Griffith Joyner is the fastest woman of all time in the 100-meter dash with an impressive time of 10.49. There were over 200 high school boys faster than her this past season.

    As an added example of the prejudice towards women athletes, each time a woman approaches an international record in track and field, swimming, or weightlifting there are whispered rumors that she is taking testosterone treatments or other performance enhancing chemicals.

    If a woman is found to have high testosterone levels she is disqualified from competition, but if a man who built the extra muscle from natural testosterone declares he is female and steps onto the starting platform or into the blocks, that’s perfectly fine. It is insanity.

    Amidst all the screaming from the left and the right in the world of sports, the athletes are being lost in the shuffle.

    To call these women and girls pawns is not enough, they are victims.

    When men are allowed to compete as women, the entire pretense of equality as exemplified by Title IX is thrown out.

    Boys competing as girls, and men as women is ridiculous and just another example of a nation that has gone off the rails.

    I’m tired of politics in sports. Kneeling, mascots, guys pretending to be gals, fringe elements trying to force the mainstream out of sport, all of it. Enough, how about we let the boys play the boys and the girls play the girls?


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