KNBR host Damon Bruce's terrible rant about women in sports didn't just occupy space on blogs and social media as one of the worst things to come out of sports talk radio in some time. It was covered as a mainstream news story by some national outlets and local San Francisco networks. Perhaps that's why it's all the more surprising that KNBR has remained silent throughout this episode, not even offering a perfunctory statement that they don't endorse the position that women need to stay out of the sandbox Damon Bruce created in his own mind to encapsulate all of sports.
(Side note: we really need a photoshop of Damon Bruce's sandbox.)
Update: Thanks to darth we now have a picture of Damon Bruce's sandbox.
KNBR's silence has been deafening and the program director was even named Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in sports on Friday night's Olbermann.
After defending himself on Twitter, Bruce returned to the air Friday and opened his show addressing his own comments. Bay Area Sports Guy took the time to transcribe the entire segment so if you don't want to listen to 9 more minutes of this (and who could blame you), check out the transcript and a couple excerpts below.
"Let me begin with a nobody-asked-me-for-it, not my program director, not one person … let me begin with an apology. The point that I was trying to make yesterday went astray when the focus became women. Women was not the point I was trying to make. It was the feminization of the way we now talk about and cover sports. And that applies to a lot of the guys that do it. I did get off track with the whole women … ladies, I love you. If you think differently, you’re out of your minds."
Usually apologies contain words like "sorry."
So women being a curse on sports and getting out of Damon Bruce's Sports Sandbox wasn't the point of yesterday's rant? That's odd considering Bruce said among other things…
"A lot of sports has lost its way, and I'm gonna tell you, part of the reason is because we've got women giving us directions."
"I enjoy many of the women's contributions to the sports, well that's a lie. I can't even pretend that's true. There are very few—a small handful—of women who are any good at this at all."
"This is guy's stuff. This is men's stuff. And I don't expect women to understand men's stuff anymore than they should expect me to be able to relate to labor pains."
Aaahhh, I get it now. The problem isn't really women in sports. The problem is men who act like women. Yes, that makes things much, much better. It's all so clear now. Damon Bruce is actually 80's pro wrestler Dave Schultz.
"What’s amazing is yesterday, you know, I did say a lot of women make great contributions to sports and I even named one, Wendy Thurm."
Actually you said very few women make great contributions to sports. You laughed at them. See, it's right there above. Just scroll back up a few paragraphs.
"And she’s the one who started transcribing and sending it out to anyone who’d catch outrage du jour more than anyone. And I said I’m a big fan of her work. Again, if you’re the type of person who hears something they don’t like and your instinct is, “I need to start transcribing this,” and you don’t just change the channel, I can’t relate to that. I can’t even relate to that, I don’t want to relate to that. If you, to get through your day, need to define me as a misogynist and just leave it at that based on one segment you probably didn’t even listen to, you go right ahead. No skin off my back. I’ll be over here talking about sports with the grownups. And that’s how it will maintain."
Let me get this straight…. Damon Bruce is the one talking about who can and cannot play in his sandbox of sports and he's the grownup?
You see, this controversy isn't Damon Bruce's fault, it's Wendy Thurm's fault for transcribing it. She's really the one to blame. All of this anger and outrage is really misplaced. It's all her fault for being offended that Damon Bruce told her and other women in sports to stop ruining things with feelings and all that nonsense. It's her fault for wanting to shine a light on this caveman culture in sports talk radio and create a discussion that could hopefully move sports to a better place. Yes, she's the real bogeyman here. Her and all the women and all the men who act like women.
This is an "apology" in the mind of Damon Bruce.
The interesting element here is Bruce trying to shift blame and attention to everyone who was "outraged" by what he said. The easiest way to get through this controversy isn't for him to apologize. It isn't for the station to say anything. No, the easiest way is to make up a pantomime villain called the "Outrage Police" that's the real problem.
This is a reaction that's all too common in today's world. Instead of taking responsibility for your own words, find someone else to blame. Many times, people in sports talk radio and elsewhere want to blame mythical creatures and not address the matter at hand.
Here's the hole in that logic though. Nobody that I know of is writing their local congressperson about Damon Bruce. As far as I can tell, there aren't angry mobs with flaming pitchforks forming outside the KNBR studios. This "outrage du jour" monster that Damon Bruce speaks of is nothing but a way to take the heat off him for the things that he said.
For anyone who wants to get worked up when backwards comments reach the mainstream and people have the gall to take notice, it's not outrage. I highly doubt anyone who wrote or commented about Damon Bruce was slamming their laptop on their desk in fury. I doubt they were so incensed they couldn't go on with their day as they normally would because they were so overcome with rage because of what some guy said on the radio in San Francisco.
These comments and the way Bruce and KNBR have reacted to them need to be brought to light because there are still way too many people that endorse this position in 2013. That women don't have a place in sports and America is crumbling because of the "wussification of society." That men who don't punch someone else in the face to solve their problems are weak and that Jonathan Martin is not a "real man" because he had the courage to walk away.
If these comments and the thinking behind them aren't brought to light, then this attitude will persist in the years to come and sports will remain miles behind the rest of the world when it comes to societal progress. That's not what any fan should want for sports.