Monthly Archives: September 2018

It Happened to MeToo

No one talked about it.

No one said anything. You didn’t tell your friends. You didn’t tell your parents, and if you did there was nothing they could do. They told you to hide it, asked the circumstances and made you feel like it was probably your fault. Judges didn’t care, police didn’t want to help.

Then the whispers start.

“That’s awful, truly, but wasn’t she asking for it with her behavior?”

“She shouldn’t dress like that. What was she expecting?”

“At least she finally got laid.”

“No, he would never. I know him. He’s not like that.”

“I bet she made it up for attention.”

This is what I had been used to hearing when I was growing up. If any form of rape or sexual assault happened, you just swept it under the rug.

He was a linebacker for our football team and weighed about 150 pounds more than I did.
He thought that gave him the right to touch my thigh and work his way up. I shifted my chair as far away from him as I could, but he kept advancing.

“C’mon, you know you like it.”

His words still haunt me. I didn’t tell my parents; I knew what their response would be. I didn’t tell my friends; I didn’t want them to see me as someone that sought that kind of attention. I didn’t tell the teacher; he probably wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. So I moved to the opposite side of the classroom.

I shouldn’t have done that.

I should have fought, I should have yelled and I should have told him to stop then punched him.
I should have done something.

But I’m not the only one. One in five women in college will be sexually assaulted. 42 percent of women who are raped don’t report it. Georgia laws regarding sexual assault are vague at best, applying them to only instances in the workplace, psychotherapists and hospitals. In 1,000 rape cases, 994 perpetrators will walk free.
But others are changing this. Others are taking a stand. Others are speaking out about sexual harassment and rape. And I am so proud of them.

They give hope to younger generations. Younger generations no longer have to accept this kind of attention as something all women must go through. They no longer have to put up with it to get a job or promotion. They don’t have to take it anymore, largely thanks to the MeToo movement.

The MeToo movement started with Tarana Burke in 2006 and progressed into a national movement that brought attention to the abuse of women in media and entertainment industries.

Now, it has become a social media hashtag that provides an outlet for victims to voice their experiences and inspires confidence in young women. Young women are now being educated on their resources to stop this unwanted attention and their futures are being rewritten.

While laws in Georgia regarding these situations are still largely flexible, the MeToo movement is bringing much needed attention to this social issue and providing closure for several thousand people.

I never want what happened to me to happen to anyone. It took me a long time to rebuild my self-esteem and push away the shame that it brought. But now I am so much happier with where I am. I have a loving family and wonderful friends who guided me through that time. I’m now very open about my story so that younger generations will know it is never okay to be treated this way without consent. I am so proud of where my generation is taking a stand and I never want them to stop talking about it.

So keep talking, keep spreading this message and keep brightening the future for younger generations.

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Is Liking Anime Still Weird?

Anyone that has met me knows that I am a little weird. There are many reasons for this, but it’s mainly because of my love of anime. Many people nowadays are becoming familiar with the exploding cartoon genre known as “anime”. The term “anime” is usually used to describe soley Japanese animation, but some have broadened the term to include other cartoons with a similar art style. This art style has become extremely popular in the United States, with shows like Netflix’s “Voltron” or the popular web series “RWBY” by Rooster Teeth gaining an explosion of popularity over the last couple of years. This sudden burst of popularity leaves this writer with one key question: is this sub-culture of anime lovers still considered weird?

It seems to me that many things that were once considered “weird” or “nerdy” have now become mainstream. The most prime example of this would most likely be the recent popularity of movies that are based on comic books. In fact, some of the most well sold Marvel comics, such as Avengers, which made $1.519 billion in the box office, have been turned into movies. Who’s to say the same thing can’t be done with Japanese comics? This shift in the public view is part of the reason why media that had a small following in the past, like comic books and video games, have been thrust into the spotlight thanks to the increase in movie/tv show adaptations of comic book characters.

Suffice to say, as a fan of both anime and Japanese comics in general, I am happy that less recognized media is becoming more mainstream. It gives people a look into a form of media they may have never seen before. Liking anime is becoming less and less “weird” and becoming much more common thanks to the recent increase in interest in new media. Though anime and manga might not be the most well-known way of telling stories, it is quickly becoming more recognized as a legitimate medium, which makes this anime fan happy to be a little weird.    

Nike Fights Through Boycotts and Protests to Close Stock at an All-Time High

 

It has now been over a week since Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The most controversial image in the campaign is a close-up of Kaepernick with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.

Nike received mixed reactions after making Kaepernick the face for this campaign. One side argues that Kaepernick’s protest of kneeling for racial injustice and police brutality is actually disrespectful to the flag, current soldiers and veterans. The other side gives Nike credit for embracing this protest and debate, instead of shying away from it like many other companies have done.

At first, many Nike customers were disgruntled that a man who knelt for the national anthem was the face of a global advertising campaign. Some even took to burning their Nike gear that they had purchased in the past. This does not make sense, since these people had already given money to Nike in exchange for their products. As long as people are buying their products, Nike probably could care less what they use them for.

After the backlash from the ad that officially came out Sept. 4, but did not air on television until Sept. 6, Nike experienced a dip in stock of about 3 percent. Nike’s stock fell below $80 per share after President Trump’s comments. President Trump took to Twitter to tweet, “What was Nike thinking?” and Nike was “absolutely getting killed with anger and boycotts.” Trump also said on Fox & Friends,”I don’t like what Nike did. I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Trump said. “I honor the flag. I honor our national anthem.”

As much President Trump might not like one of the biggest apparel companies in the world backing a man who stands up for racial injustice and police brutality against minorities, Nike is loving the money that this campaign has brought in.

Last weekend, after the ad had officially aired, Nike saw a 31 percent increase in online sales. This might be expected, considering Nike rolls out a campaign every year on the opening weekend of the NFL. During the same weekend last year Nike saw a 17 percent increase in online sales, just a little over half of the increase the company saw this year.

Nike also saw a decrease in stock prices, as mentioned earlier. That took a huge turn this past Thursday. Nike closed their stock at an all-time high on Thursday at $83.47 per share.

As long as Nike can continue to make money, I’m sure they can live with President Trump being upset.

 

Use Your Head

In recent years, a lot of sports have come under fire for causing unnecessary brain trauma due to the severity of some collisions or actions performed with the head. Soccer has not been immune to this criticism, since soccer players on the field use their head quite a bit during the game to win 50/50 balls and regain possession for their team or score/defend goals.

There have been questions raised as to whether or not heading should be allowed to occur in the sport. Some people want to ban it altogether, while others just want soccer players to wear mouth guards and soft, protective head guards to reduce trauma. This is absurd. There is no need for this. Using your head in soccer is such an integral part of the game and has been a part of its rules and regulations since the game’s inception. People have attempted to validate studies that link headers back to brain damage. While some cases of trauma could potentially point back to heading the ball, the amount of times one would have to head the ball to generate a severe amount of trauma that causes damage is a steep climb.

I’m not going to stop hitting the ball when I play, nor is anyone else going to stop initiating such contact. When one is in the heat of the moment, and possesses all the competitive fire needed to win, they will do anything to succeed. If that means putting their precious brain on the line to help their team win, so be it.

Removing headers from soccer would not only ruin the flow of the game, but it would remove the need for players to be explosive in their vertical ability. It is such a wonderful feeling when you go up for a ball and get a clean connection with your forehead and smash the ball into the net to score the game-winning goal. It’s exhilarating when, as a defender, you go up for a header inside the box and send it downfield with a satisfying crack heard by all watching as you put your head straight through the ball. Taking away this aspect from the game would not only reduce its quick flow, but also decrease the amount of competition seen present on each pitch. In a world without headers, players would have to wait for the ball to come down, resulting in a much slower game; it would become less interesting to watch and less fun to play.

There is a correct and proper way to head the ball that causes the least amount of pain and damage to your head. Players are supposed to connect with the ball right across the middle of their forehead and follow through to properly put the right amount of power on the ball to send it going in the right direction. It is easy to fall victim to the more commonplace idea of softening contact sports and slowly destroying said games. Soccer players are intense competitors, instead of eliminating a key component of the game, players should be educated about how to properly head a ball.

Nike Strikes Gold with Kapernick Campaign

 

Lately Nike has started a little bit of a stir amongst different crowds in the United States, but they knew what they were doing. Last week, Nike made a strong stand with star ex-quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kapernick; as he was the star of their new advertising campaign.

He has not played in the NFL since 2016, after taking a knee during the National Anthem throughout the 2016 season. Kapernick did not do this out of disrespect, he has received many veterans “Ok” with the matter. The reason for the kneel is because of police brutality. In recent years, there has been many cases of black people losing their lives to the hands of the police.

With the Ad making national headlines, Nike has reached an all-time high in sales. Many critics believed Nike’s sales would plummet because of social media reaction. Twitter trended with different hashtags like #donewithnike and #burnnike but while the bad reviews happened, praise also began to spread. Nike not only allowed Kapernick to narrate the ad, but great sports stories are told as well. For example, the triumphant story of Shaquem Griffin of the Seattle Seahawks. Griffin only has one arm but plays at the highest level of football. Another story flashed in the ad is Alphonso Davies, a star in the MLS who went through being a refugee in Ghana and fleeing the country because of Civil unrest. Nike does a great job of capturing the overcoming stories while also enshrining the greatness of Lebron James and Serena Williams. The athletes offer inspiration for inner city kids, not only from an athletic standpoint but also in the community.

Nike does a great job of capturing the different aspects of life in the ad. Religion, race, and LGBT community are all represented in the Nike campaign. The campaign is based upon the upcoming fall apparel. Nike also times it perfect, as the ad is dropped during opening night of the NFL. This is important because Kapernick has accused the NFL of blacklisting him from the league. Not only is the Ad a slap in the face to the NFL, Nike is also the official apparel of the league.

No one can run away from Nike, because it is everywhere. Nike took a social stand with Kapernick, but also made a great business decision. Nike’s target market is not only in America, but everywhere is the world. In this Ad, Nike captures a lot of what is happening everywhere and does a great job of relating. Nike’s stocks only went down for a day after the campaign launched. Few days later many stockholders could not wait to get their hands on a Nike stock as online sales skyrocketed, it is safe to say Nike knew exactly what they were doing.

The Current State of the MLB

Remember the 1980’s? Yeah, me either.

However, I remember my dad telling me about the League that he grew up watching. During the 1980’s, you couldn’t find a league leader with less than 60 stolen bases. In the ’80s there were six seasons in which players had more than 100 steals, six different players stole at least 80 bags, 11 stole more than 70, and 31 stole at least 50 in a season. Rickey Henderson set a single-season record with 130. That is unheard of in today’s game. In 2017, Whit Merrifield led the American League with just 34 bags, and in the National League, Dee Gordon led with 64 bags. Granted the National League is more aggressive offensively, these numbers are nowhere close to the likes of Ricky Henderson. Stolen bases per game in 1987 had doubled from 20 years earlier. The game began to be played faster. Teams were built around the stolen base, and the ‘hit-and-run’ technique began to be implemented by almost every team.

Baseball today is still fast and very exciting to watch. The league now is a stage full of the world’s biggest and best stars — absolute freaks of nature. But still, the game is still slower compared to the 80’s, and a decrease in stolen bases is one of the reasons.

There are plenty of factors that can be considered; better catching techniques and quicker pop times (time it takes the ball to leave the pitcher’s hand and hits the catcher’s glove), lineups loaded with power hitters, introduction of balk rules and more. However, some statisticians like to believe that current-generation pitching techniques have been a major cause to a decrease in stolen bases.

In the past couple years, the MLB has seen some incredible pitching. In the early 1990’s, very few pitchers were able to break triple-digit MPH on their fastballs. According to Statcast, in the 2015 season, 627 pitches were thrown 100 MPH or over. With phenomes such as Noah Syndergaard keeping a consistent 97-102 fastball range, and Aroldis Chapman throwing a whopping 106 MPH, the league now has to deal with a shorter pop-times. In 2015, 31 different pitchers threw over 100 MPH.  Ever since the 90’s, the league gains a few more flame-throwers every few years. For instance, in 2008, 4.1 percent of all pitches were thrown 95 MPH or over. By 2015, more than 13 percent did.

The league has gotten used to this. The days of Rickey Henderson are just tales told to children, just like my dad told me. Instead of triple-digit stolen bases and hit-and-run after hit-and-run, we see infield shifts and insanely fast heaters. Yes, the game is slower, but the league is filled with phenome pitchers and super sluggers. While style and tactics have changed, it’s still America’s pastime.

https://www.baseball-reference.com

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/20163577/dear-1987-not-going-believe-happened-baseball

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1549854-monumental-differences-between-todays-baseball-player-and-those-of-yesteryear

The Truth about D3

I never would have thought, five years ago, I would quite lacrosse. Although neither did Vontae Davis, cornerback for the buffalo bills when he retired at halftime during a game this past Sunday.“…reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn’t be out there anymore,” said Davis.

I hate writing about being a college athlete. I hate writing about being an athlete at all. Nevertheless, it’s all I know. For the past five years, that’s all I was, and that’s all I did. In high school, I played three sports. I started out as a cheerleader and lacrosse player. Because of cheer, I played lacrosse and because of lacrosse, I swam. Lacrosse was my favorite. I only swam because my lacrosse coach said it would get me in better shape for lacrosse, and that’s all I ever wanted.

By senior year, I was captain of both the lacrosse and swim teams. At this time I had to decide what I was going to do with my life. I had applied to a few schools to appease my mom, but I hadn’t heard anything back. My high school coach was always looking to send us to college. So one day we sat down and discussed my future. From there we began searching for schools with women’s lacrosse and film programs. Like all athletes, I went through the recruiting process. I talked to coaches, visited schools and made a pros and cons list.

By the fall of 2018, I was a Piedmont College student and athlete. The first few weeks were great. Both my roommate and I were from the same high school and at Piedmont for the same reason, lacrosse. So starting my new journey, I wasn’t alone. We made friends easily and our other teammates seemed cool. As school continued, things changed.

The practice became my life. I felt like I had to adjust everything to it. When coach wanted to have practice, we had practice. Of course, it depended on who else was using the field, but some nights we didn’t eat because we got out too late. As our pre-season continued, the resentment continued to build in me. For one, I was no longer having fun, every bad pass or throw involved a punishment. If we didn’t speak, punishment. Eventually, it felt like we were only being punished for our mistakes and not rewarded for our accomplishments. Besides practice and off the field tension among the girls began to rip my spirit apart. Each day it felt like a new victim was chosen. “Will they or won’t they talk to her today?” It became so nerve racking I felt like I had to walk on eggshells.

This made me feel uncomfortable in an environment where I should feel welcomed. This made practice awful, spending time with my teammates uncomfortable and to the point where I sought counseling. I realized I no longer wanted to play lacrosse, but I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I couldn’t quit. I thought I was alone, but I wasn’t alone. Thirty percent of athletes quit the respective sport. A study conducted at Brown, “about 30 percent of athletes choose not to continue playing their sport through their senior year,” according to Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. As the semester more and more athletes began to quit. I no longer felt alone. Quitting didn’t mean I no longer had integrity, it’s  just that “…reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn’t be out there anymore.”