Free Speech, NFL-America Style!

Well, now the Jets have “apologized” to Ines Sainz—let’s just call her InSainz for short—and her “my size” jeans, but of course the story won’t die. The stupid stories never do. Partly because guys like Brian Baldinger (god bless him) of the NFL Network can’t let it go. “Baldy,” speaking for probably 99 44/100% of the male population, blamed the whole incident on InSainz’ “painted-on jeans.”

They really do look "painted on," don't they?

“If you come into the NFL dressed the way that she is dressed, you are just asking,” BB said on a radio show in the City of Brotherly Lust. “I mean, the boys are just having fun.” BB maintains that the Jets had nothing whatsoever to apologize for. “If she walked into any locker room in the league, the exact same thing would have happened.”

What followed was predictable. The NFL—widely (and appropriately) known as the “No Fun League”—was not amused. (Soon we’ll be calling it the “No Freedom League.”) As the NFL Network told the AP, “We discussed with Brian his comments. He understands they were not appropriate.”

Really? Does anyone reading that utterly predictable b.s. really believe that Baldy “understands [his comments] were not appropriate”? Let Karka re-write the NFL Network’s statement in real-world language: “We discussed with Brian his comments. He understands that he must grovel before the NFL oligarchy and pretend to understand that his comments were not appropriate if he wants to keep his job. A properly emasculated Mr. Baldinger will continue to work for the NFL Network so long as he keeps up this pretense.”

The National Organization of Women pounced quickly as well. NOW President Terry O’Neill defended InSainz’ wardrobe, saying that the only question is whether or not her employer, TV Azteca, approved of it, as they clearly did. O’Neill also played the Culture Card, saying that “Latina women are very proud of their bodies.”

"Pride" is the only p-word that comes to mind.

William Blake once wrote that “To generalize is to be an idiot.” That may be a bit of a generalization itself, but Blake certainly knew what he was talking about. But Karka won’t stoop so low as to blast the esteemed Ms. O’Neill for her ridiculous generalization about Latina women.

Karka is sure some of them are proud of their bodies. But how is this in any way relevant? So InSainz is so proud of her body that she feels compelled to display it even in an NFL locker room. That begs the question, though, doesn’t it? Regardless of her “pride,” does she expect to flounce into an NFL locker room dressed to show off her considerable assets and not elicit some response to those assets? If she does, I wonder if Terry O’Neill would want to add that “Latina women are proud of their minds.” (And honestly, are women who dress the way Insainz dresses not deeply  disappointed—and I don’t mean at some deep unconscious level—when men do not notice the body they are so proud of and so proudly displaying? Have we reached the point in this world where we cannot even say—or think—that women who dress to be noticed want to be noticed?)

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Insainz experiences a burst of Latina pride in her body and decides to conduct her next locker room interview wearing nothing at all. (It could happen!) What kind of response would she expect then? Would the Jets be forced to apologize if all 53 players failed to avert their eyes when InSainz entered their field of vision? What would NOW’s position be? That “Latina women are proud of their naked bodies and deserve to be treated as though they were fully dressed even when they are not dressed at all”?

Would the Jets owner be forced to apologize to InSainz (to all women, for that matter) for having the most unfortunate name of “Woody”?

I know this is growing tiresome but let’s look at this from another angle. It’s a well known and true and proven fact—just trust Karka on this one—that NFL coaches are very proud of their bodies.

Jets coach Rex Ryan has a lot to be proud of.

Let’s just say that Jets coach Rex Ryan decides to expand his horizons and moonlight as a reporter for NFL Azteca over the summer.  And coach Rex, being (as all NFL coaches are, don’t forget), “very proud of his body,” decides to go into a NOW locker room wearing a Speedo, or even better, a custom-made barely there thong. (Relax: Karka won’t go so far as to ask you to picture Mr. Ryan naked. Even Karka has his limits!) Picture it: a roomful of half-dressed middle-aged feminists, all hot and sweaty after a grueling afternoon of criticizing the patriarchy, some getting worked on by the trainers (lots of strained index fingers—from all that pointing; and lots of fatigued faces—from all that frowning).

Terry O'Neill, pondering the prospect of a bethonged Rex Ryan in her locker room?

And in walks Rex Ryan, his culturally sanctioned pride in his body evident in his every rippling move, microphone in hand (or perhaps, as yet another element of his culturally sanctioned pride in his body, held at crotch level, in a slightly suggestive way), intent on “getting a story.” And then one of these progesterone-crazed woman warriors calls out, “Hey, big boy, is that thong painted on?”

And Rex of course goes to pieces. He simply can’t believe that he is being treated this way, when all he wanted to do was get a story. Well, that and express his enormous pride in his body. Devastated, he wonders how he can go on after such humiliation. How can he face his peers now? After much soul-searching he confides in a few of his fellow coaches. Their horror is palpable—they too have been through such ordeals, too many times to count—and several of them go the to media, demanding that NOW apologize for this “outrage.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Well, Karka’s phone rang a few minutes ago. The ominous voice on the other end announced itself as one R. Goodell. After a brief conversation with that ominous voice, Karka now realizes that his comments in this post were inappropriate at best and an offense against taste and decency at worst. He hereby apologizes to Ines Sainz, and wants to say that he really didn’t think those jeans appeared to be painted on her ass at all and agrees that those jeans which once seemed to him to have been painted on her ass really are obviously “her size” and that to have intimated otherwise was an egregious and horrific defamation of all women everywhere and through all time. And he further apologizes to Terry O’Neill for criticizing her ridiculous remarks about Latina women loving their bodies and to the National Organization for Women and furthermore to all women for imagining in print a scene in which hot and sweaty women express any interest at all in a man.

May the gods forgive me.

Postscript: They obviously have. The Dallas Cowboys have lost again. And what with Notre Dame losing again last night, and in heartbreaking fashion, Karka knows, he just knows, that he has been redeemed.

This is exactly how Karka is feeling about now.

Until next time.

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