Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Bob McCown doesn't stand for all of us

[Image: Prime Time Sports host Bob McCown]

Dear Mr. McCown,

I'm writing to inform you that your statements (go to 1:37) on yesterday's nationally-syndicated Prime Time Sports radio/television show are not only offensive and inaccurate, but are also potentially defamatory and libelous. 

For the record, you said, "The sole motivation for a man to watch any woman's sport is are they half-naked? Are they good-looking?" You then went on to say "Other than that, I don’t care if it’s a world championship or your next-door neighbour playing somebody. Guys are only interested in woman’s sport if it’s good-looking chicks."

Of course, it's mind-bogglingly stupid for a nationally-broadcast radio host to make those kinds of remarks on International Women's Day, but that's your own affair. What I'm more concerned with is that you're making a "statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individualbusinessproductgroup,government, or nation a negative image", that this statement is false, and that it was communicated to a large group of people coast-to-coast. I can inform you that your comments definitely have the potential to give a group (men) a negative image, and that they are untrue. There are many of us who watch and appreciate women's sports for the sport value, just as we do with men's sports. We appreciate the sports on their own merits, not just how attractive the players are. 

This isn't meant to seriously threaten a lawsuit, as I certainly don't have the time or inclination to bother with that, and I'm generally not a fan of trying to restrict speech. In my mind, you're perfectly welcome to express your troglodytic views on women's sports on your national platform; maybe that will help diminish your undeserved prominence. However, please don't claim to speak for all men while doing so; when you do that, you're ascribing your own misguided views to the rest of us and damaging our reputations in the process, and I don't think that's particularly fair. While you're stuck in the darkness and talking about leering at suggestive cave paintings, some of us have managed to move out into the light. It would be nice if you came to join us some day, but I don't expect that to happen any time soon. 


  1. Great post, Andrew. Thank you for addressing this.

  2. Bob McCown is also a racist.

  3. Anonymous3:03 PM

    Come on man open your eyes. Why can't people accept the truth anymore and rather take the side of political correctness. Walk down the streets of Toronto and survey ten women. Ask them the following question - What do you know about Tom Brady? I can guarantee you zero of the women will know he just won the MVP. Maybe 2 might be able to tell you he is a QB. I doubt one would know that he plays for the Patriots. But I can guarantee you that if each one of those ten women you interviewed in fact had heard of Tom Brady before - they know it because A)he is married to a supermodel, and B)most women salivate at the sight of him. When McCown makes comments above, he doesn't call into question their athletic talent, he is just pointing out the absolute obvious that the only reason 9/10 men tune into a game of womens fastpitch is to see Jennie Fitch in short shorts.

  4. @Anon: The many, many sports-loving women I know would beg to differ with your assessment of them. Also, as per McCown's comments, he didn't say "9 out of 10 men," he said "men". There certainly are men who only watch women's sports for attractive women; I'd hope that the number isn't as high as 90 per cent, but I don't have exhaustive research on that, so I can't prove that figure is or isn't true. I know that McCown's "all men" figure isn't true, though; there are plenty of us who enjoy women's sports for the skill involved, not the looks of the participants.

  5. Anonymous3:25 PM

    I bet you were expecting complete praise for this holier-than-thou criticism. You seem to like fancy words, well one anyway. Here's one for you. Trite. I don't excuse McCown's words at all. They're ignorant and counter-productive. Even if there's a shred of truth to it, it's completely reckless to say such things. But even implying a hypothetical lawsuit could have merit is absurd. Like "men" as a group could/would sue. You know technically you and I are a group. I looked up the definition so I could interpret it any way I wanted. Cheers!

    P.S. I loathe Bob McCown.

  6. I just find it really bizarre that your post here is generating virtually the ONLY discussion of Bob McCown's disgraceful misogynist rant, and what are you upset about? Not so much how his rant affects women, but how it makes men 'look bad.'
    I agree with anon that it's absurd to suggest that "men" as a group could take him to court for slander (libel, btw, means that you've been defamed in print). Women 'get' that not all men think like Bob McCown. How about looking at the real issue here?

  7. Anonymous3:54 PM

    @muffy sainte-marie Seconded!! Thank you.

  8. Stevie H/4:09 PM

    This is the first and only time I will read your blog..

    Thanks for listing off all the women sports that draw ratings where women aren't sexualized...

  9. @Muffy: Fair point. Obviously McCown's comments affect women as well as much (or more) than men; I don't feel particularly qualified to comment on how women feel about them, though. To me, that's just as out there if not more so than McCown claiming to speak for all men; I don't speak for any women, much less all women, and I'm not claiming to speak for anyone other than myself here; his comments bugged me, so I wrote about them.

    (Also, I'm not serious about launching a lawsuit here; like I said, I don't like libel lawsuits. I'm not a lawyer, either, so I can't talk about the specific merits of this case. My point was just that similar kinds of inaccurate claims about large groups have led to serious repercussions, including lawsuits. Furthermore, in B.C. at least, libel is the correct term for broadcast defamation, not slander: see

  10. Anonymous4:17 PM

    "My point was just that similar kinds of inaccurate claims about large groups have led to serious repercussions, including lawsuits."

    Please cite examples.

    Also no one thinks you were serious about the lawsuit.

  11. I think it's probably not difficult to imagine how women might 'feel' about McCown's standard-fare commentary. Probably not all that far off from how a lot of men might 'feel' about it, or ought to, given what we know about sexism/racism/homophobia/etc - i.e. the many heads of the hydra called 'ignorance' and or 'hate':
    creeped out

    And yes, his comments affect women 'more' than men. Women have been dealing with this shit for centuries. It's a problem.

    Anyway, kudos to you for speaking up, but I'm dismayed to see that there's been pretty much zero reaction to McCown's comments.

  12. Andrew, your post hits the right points. McCown clearly took an overdose of the stupid pills Don Kollins hands out to FAN 590 personalities (known as "Krystals" in the drug trade).

    A true sports fan will watch anything if it's competitive, balanced, intense. It is too bad many OMDs McCown's age feel threatened, first by women who are knowledgeable about sports and second by younger men who don't have these bias and hangups.

    Taking the form of an open letter is a little much. A slander case (libel is written, slander is spoken) rests on being able to prove a loss of reputation, standing, income, et cetera, and it would be a hell of a straw man argument to say men suffered due to Rogers Sportsnet's stupidity.

    Taking the open-letter form is a bit much. Your heart and energy is in a good place; good job.

  13. Bob McCown is a genius...just ask him

  14. Anonymous7:01 PM

    If people luved women's sports so much then how come no one watches?

    They have there place, but let's not fool like the women...not the sports.

  15. Anonymous7:17 AM

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  16. I disagree with practically every argument that McClown offers up. Still, I will defend his right to express his opinion on women's athletics.

    Personally, I think McCown's opinion of female sport and sexuality is a broad generalization that, although it may not apply to you, grasps the mind-set of most male consumers of sports entertainment. I would argue that sexuality is the essential connective relation that drives our species. Is that fair? No, it isn't. However, it is a reality.

    Great topic, it turned into a interesting piece I put on my blog as well.

    The Righteous HappySlide

  17. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Bob Who?

  18. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Bob is correct. Most men only watch female sports if the girls are good looking. If you want skill, you watch male sports because they are physically superior. It's as simple as that. It has nothing to do with being sexist; it's just a fact.

  19. Anonymous6:57 AM

    Being angry about his comments doesn't make them any less true. He may not be 100 % accurate, but he close. Sure, mayeb some sports where the competitive level is as high or higher then with men, say figure skating or gymnastics, then sure, its not all about looks. Thank god as many of the women are children who participate. But in professional sports, its somewhat true. This is why the WNBA struggles as much as it does. And why you see pinups of Danica Patrick in order to try and promote women in car racing.

    Consider ratings for women's tennis vs. women's golf. In tennis women run, grunt and sweat in white shirts and short skirts. In tennis, women parade around in trousers and polos. Which sport draws more male fans? Tennis, hands down. But its not all on looks. FOr team sports the quality of game paly is so much lower then with men. And that is because men are simply physically superior to women. And I think respecting women is not all about eqaulity but also respecting that men and women are different and can do different things better than each other. Its ignorant to ignore that.

    Then you can take it further,women who are physically developped with lots of muscle tone are deemed less attractive to most men. They seem more 'manly' and men find that unappealing to watch.

  20. Richard8:25 AM

    Man alive. Talk about taking things way out of proportion. It's just a sports talk show host saying something funny. He probably knew it wasn't 100% true. Instead of wasting time writing blogs like this do something more productive. McCown is entertaining, he's funny and if you can't laugh off comments like this then you need to see a specialist. Maybe you just can't admit to yourself you enjoy looking at attractive women.

  21. Anonymous1:03 PM

    What he says is true. Look at women`s tennis...if it wasn`t for the cuties (Anna K, Martina Hingis etc.) in the early `90s (?) in their mini-skirts...women`s tennis won`t be so popular now.
    And look at Beach Volleyball in the olympics...why is the bikini the uniform for the ladies. Why couldn`t they have chosen shorts and sleeveless shirts as the official uniform? Because sex sells!!!!
    And I`m sure most ladies like their male sports stars to be handsome and sporting a 6 pack. So it goes both ways.

  22. Perhaps someone has addressed this in the comments already, but I don't care to read through them all to find out.

    There is nothing "defamatory and libelous" about Bob's comments, short-sighted as they may be. I suggest that before you throw words like that around you A) are a lawyer and know what they mean or B) at least look them up in a dictionary. You lost all creditability right there.

    And for what it's worth, I think women's sports are a joke to watch. They just aren't exciting, unless, as Bob said, they're good looking.

  23. Anonymous3:41 PM

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  24. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Bob couldn't be any closer to the truth. All of you who actually watch female sports because of their athleticism are just trying to be politically correct, or you're just a pure phaggot.

  25. Anonymous5:59 PM

    Agreed with you till the last paragraph. No use being an arrogant douche.

  26. Anonymous7:20 PM

    I once saw Bob in a gay bar with two leathermen sitting on his lap.

  27. It's late, I'm tired, so I'll get straight to the point-shut up.

  28. Anonymous9:35 AM

    SAGER....damages are assumed in Canadian law. All you have to prove is that he said it.

  29. Courtney Almeida6:28 PM

    I'm a 16 year old girl in High School and i love sports and disagree with most of whats being said here. I've grown up in a sports oriented family, i even chose to take up hockey at 10 which turned many heads in my family since hockey is supposed to be for guys only. I've played on lots of guys teams and their always the same the season starts out with most of the team thinking i'm not good enough and at the end they all accept me and realize that girls can be good at sports. On top of everything i'm a short 5 foot nothing blonde, girly girl and right when i walk into the rink i stick out like a sore thumb... I'm hoping to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and a dream job would be to work on TSN.I love and play almost every sport and almost every girl i know at least has some basic knowledge on sports. Right now i'm playing in an all girls league and all the girls with boyfriends have them come out to games. Most of them actually even ask to come watch! There's not lingerie hockey league so i think that argument loses. I might not know a lot yet but one thing i do know is that girls have to try 3 times as hard as guys just to get a quarter of the exposure! Times are changing and it's only a matter of time before women's sports starts getting the credit it deserves. I'd also just like to say that i'm not trying to bash,I have nothing against men's sports, i'm always down to watch some Saturday night NHL or Sunday night NFL! Hope this changes some minds.

  30. I usually think McCown is an arrogant,bigoted windbag,but in this case....RIGHT ON,BOBCAT!!!!You speak for about 99% of real men with a pair,definitely including this boyishly handsome,58-year-old black Windsor,Ont.lad.Exhi-
    bit One,WNBA.Outside of husbands and fathers dragged to these games by their shrewish-likely also fat-wives and hoops-playing daughters,what dude would be caught dead
    viewing a third-rate version of the planet's most athletic sport played by almost assuredly some of the world's gnarliest "broads?"(Oh,and for the little ladies who label me "sexist" and "chauvinist":DAMN SKIPPY;I'M 100% LUSTY BLACK LADDIE!!!!Besides,girls,
    I'll bet most of you have bedrooms which are literal Tom Brady shrines,and you "Timmyboppers" would LOVE to walk-MILES FROM YOUR PARENTS!!!-on oceans with your boy
    TRT,alias (before "Tom Terrific" beat him yesterday,Dec.18)"The Mile High Messiah!!!!"

  31. Give me Raquel Welch in "Kansas City Bomber"-with her Number 11 jersay clinging to her bangin' bod-or the WWE DIVAS-most of 'em,anyway-six days a week and twice Sundays!!!!

  32. Anonymous2:47 PM

    What I would love to know is what big bobs playing experience in/if any sport? Why do people give this obvious example of a "highschool outcast one day I will show all of you"personality type. He is obviously seeking his own form vengeance through a false sense of self empowerment. He knows almost nothing about any of the sports he comments on. He got lucky saying things that bug people and looking weird. He knows it.

  33. JJS in Maple2:42 PM

    Bob's job is to be opinionated.Most of you clowns should have half of his sports knowledge.

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