The concept of sport and masculinity is one that interests me. I find myself constantly involved in sport between my two main pursuits, fly fishing and lacrosse. Many times I find myself uncomfortable with the language or behavior of those around. I’m thinking about how folks talk about April Vokey and all the scandals that have plagued lacrosse over the past few years. As a coach I have used them as teaching moments with my players. Anyone curious about more on April can check out one of my previous posts.
I wonder how ethnicity and masculinity play out in our sport? It seems that we embrace anyone who has the goods. I'm thinking about Skagit Master 1 where Scott Howell recounts mistaking Ed Ward who is Japanese for being Native American. "What tribe are you?" I know i didnt think twice about what Ed's ethicity was. I just wanted figure out how he moved all that line. We hang on Goren Andersson’s words..."I have a drift inside and says go to the river." I am not even sure what sort of scandinavian he is. However, when it comes to women in our sport one doesn’t need to look far. How do we juxtapose Joan Wulff and April Vokey. Is it odd in our over-sexualized time that we have April and the uber-malecentric '50s has Joan. I know Joan is still with us. I would love to listen to that Itinerant Angler Podcast. How cool would it be to listen to Zach interview April and Joan together?
I am really curious about what other people think about the media’s portrayal of Lin. If he wasn’t Asian would anyone care that the new young point guard was doing well? What does it say that people are amazed that someone could do so well from a place that is perceived to be academically difficult. As Yang points out in his article often people comments about the ethnicity of soemone else have more to do with their own perceptions than the realities of the person they are commenting on. I’m curious how these themes of ethnicity and masculinity play out in other areas like fly fishing.
The best part of the article is at the end. It is about balance in life. It probably speaks more to me as new father but hopefully other find it empowering as well.
"A boy who was encouraged rather than coerced to excel, for whom both athletic and academic achievement were placed in balance with simply enjoying life and pursuing higher causes."