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The Corner of Controversy and Criticism- 1/29/2018

This weekend was a surreal weekend in the world of sports in which most of it went way beyond the sports world. This past week Larry Nassar was sentenced to any where from 40 to 175 years in prison for the sexual abuse of many girls over his years working with US Gymnastics team and Michigan State University. ESPN’s Outside the Lines did their own investigation and they uncovered many incidences of sexual abuse and violence towards women have been covered up over the past ten years. The two programs that are being focused on are the Basketball and Football teams which have two coaches that are legendary in Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio. Both coaches have denied any involvement in having knowledge that their players were involved in such actions. I love sports and love watching competitive games. There are a lot of great athletes, stories and accomplishments that come from sports but then we are hit with a scandal it makes sports a lot less important.

In my opinion, sports are a privilege and should that privilege should not be taken for granted. When that privilege becomes something that violates a person’s right to be safe and unharmed then that privilege should be taken away completely. Unfortunately this is not the first time a major university has been under fire for a huge scandal like this. We have seen it with Penn State, Baylor, Louisville and SMU. All of these scandals violated trust, integrity and honesty which are values that these universities try to uphold. I feel that the case involving Larry Nassar and the investigation into MSU this is going to blow the doors wide open for a lot of major universities to be investigated. More people are going to find the courage to speak out and more people are going to be held accountable. If you know someone that is or has been sexual abused and you do nothing about it then you are a part of the problem. These incidences should not go unreported and should not be overlooked for any reason at all. I hope that this starts a nationwide cure to what is probably a nationwide epidemic that has been going on for a very long time.

When I think of women and sports I think of one of the most successful female athletes in the last decade. Ronda Rousey has spent the last decade being a role model, inspiration and someone who has paved the way for other women to be successful in sports. She won the Bronze Medal in the 2008 Olympics, and went on to take the MMA world by storm with her time in Strikeforce and UFC. Ronda lost her last two fights in the UFC in pretty quick fashion and she disappeared for quite some time until the Royal Rumble. She appeared at the 2018 Royal Rumble after the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble took place. Many people have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers about Rousey’s arrival to WWE, but I am sure we will find out soon. There is this perception of Rousey that she is weak and went to WWE because she could no longer handle “real fighting.” Ronda Rousey gave her life to MMA for five years and it allowed a lot of other women to make a name and make money fighting in the octagon for a living. Rousey is a driven individual and anyone who has ever heard her talk should know that she loves professional wrestling.

Rousey was trained in Judo by Gene Lebell who also trained “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in professional wrestler. Through this connection Rousey and Piper became friends and he was someone who Rousey went to for advice. Many people are upset that she is using Piper’s logos and colors but she had Piper’s blessing to use the “Rowdy” gimmick. I don’t think people should be upset with Ronda for being in WWE, using Piper’s gimmicks or not competing in the UFC anymore. In this time, where scandals are coming out about about women being abused we need someone like Ronda Rousey to give us hope, encouragement, and inspiration that women can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. This weekend has been a whirl weekend where we heard about women being abused and violated to seeing a woman who chooses to be anything that she wants to be. I have hope and with that hope I would love to see change. There needs to be change in how women are percieved, treated and looked upon so that cases like MSU never happen again. Until this change happens the vicious cycle will continue and we all know that cycle needs to stop! I hope you all have been impacted by the events of the last week and hope you will be a part of the solution and not add to the problem. Until next time stay safe, stay strong, and remember Controversy Doesn’t Come Without Criticism!

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