BRONX, NY – As Lili Von Shtüpp famously sang in Blazing Saddles: “I’m tired, tired of playing the game.” As it was in the Old West (at least Mel Brooks’ hilarious 1974 version of it), and as it is today, the thing that’s making me tired is Men. I’m a man (last time I checked) and I’m even tired of myself. But what I’m mostly tired of is men—old white men, mostly—desperately keeping their liver-spotted stranglehold on who gets to vote, who gets to skip out on paying taxes, who gets to live where, who goes to jail, and what women should and shouldn’t be allowed to do with their bodies. There are dozens of other instances, of course, but this week I am truly sick to my stomach on behalf of women everywhere. YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. The one day of the year when we choose to spotlight women (only Moms, mind you) by springing for a card, some flowers, and maybe a meal… if they’re lucky. It’s the most hollow gesture by a gender to which I belong, and there is no apology long enough that it can even begin to cover the shabby, dismissive way women have been treated since the beginning of time. This column ain’t gonna cut it either, but I’m not going to write a column this week. I’m just going to mention the names of some women—some sports-related, some not—who I think are more deserving of attention than anything going on in sports right now.
Mom (My Mom, your Mom, everyone’s Mom). My Wife (A Saint). My Daughter (All young girls everywhere deserve to be heard, and she’s being heard). Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Jackie-Joyner Kersee. Wilma Rudolph. Chris Evert. Venus & Serena Williams (Such great tennis players, that they made a movie… about their Dad). Nadia Comaneci. Florence Griffith Joyner. Martina Navratilova. Dolly Parton (Wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day. What did you ever do?). Althea Gibson. Cheryl Miller. Billie Jean King. 2019 US Women’s National Soccer Team (All the other teams too. Not just the winning ones). My Wife’s Mom (A gem!). Bonnie Blair. Female Gymnasts Everywhere. Emily Gordon (speaking of gymnasts). Dorothy Hamill. Margaret Court. Madeline Kahn. Aretha Franklin. Susan Hickey. Cookie Pagan. Liz Belson. Steffi Graf. Grete Waitz. Lisa Leslie. Sue Bird. Mrs. Met (If not for her, Mr. Met would be a minor league BP ball by now). Dorothy Vining. Etta James. Michelle Obama. Naomi Osaka. Diana Taurasi. Annette Goldman (My 8th Grade English teacher). Carmen Toro (aka, Carmen Sandwich). Lizzo. Allyson Felix. Aunt Sandy in Centerville. Teri Garr. Single Moms Everywhere (Don’t know how you do it). Kim Ng (Marlins GM!). Dani Gottesman. Christine Mendelbaum (can’t be bought with Red Lobster). Pat Summitt. Dawn Staley. Grandmas! Jean Arthur. Katie Ledecky. The Pointer Sisters….
Look, this list could go on all night. All of these names, and thousands more like them, are so much more worth singling out than any first round NFL draft pick or multi-billionaire who made a token donation to a charity of his choosing. Women are smart and strong and talented and deserving of respect… much, much more than they ever get. I hope I live to see them running the world. But, even if I don’t, this is one old white Dude that will happily leave this mortal coil to make room for them. I’m tired anyway.