Playing while female
Earlier this month, Little League player Mo'Ne Davis published her memoir, Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Changer. Just last week, the Disney Channel announced plans for a biopic chronicling the athlete's life. Pretty amazing stuff for a 13-year-old.
Then again, amazing is what Davis does: Last August, she became the first girl to throw a Little League World Series shutout. She was also named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for 2014. Impressive.
Too bad another athlete chose to treat Davis like she's not worthy of respect.
Over the weekend, Joey Casselberry, a Bloomburg University baseball player, tweeted “Disney is making a movie about Mo'ne Davis? WHAT A JOKE. That slut got rocked by Nevada.”
A reminder: Davis is 13.
Casselberry has since apologized; he's also been kicked off his team. Davis asked the school to reinstate him, noting that “everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn't mean it in that type of way.”
Perhaps that's not how Casselberry meant it (although it's really difficult to think of alternate meanings for the word “slut”), but unfortunately his tweet just underscores the treatment female athletes face.
Serena Williams, for example, recently discussed the years of body-shaming she's endured from those who prefer their female tennis players delicate and small-boned.
I have a 14-month-old niece who, if she turns out anything like her mother, will someday be a force on the athletic field. Soccer maybe. Definitely softball. Here's hoping she'll never have to face the sort of casual, persistent sexism that Davis, Williams and scores of other female athletes have experienced.
I'm sure you'd expect no less for your nephew, son or brother.