I used to be an avid fan of professional football before #wokeism took it over.
On any given Sunday, I could usually be found either vegging out on the couch watching NFL games all afternoon with some Bojangles chicken and sweet tea on hand or hanging out with family or friends and experiencing together the highs and lows that come with watching your team do well or stink.
It wasn’t uncommon for at least one of the guys in the crowd, usually one who didn’t know me very well, to appear genuinely surprised that I more than held my own when discussing the particulars of the game. On more than one occasion when I asked why they were surprised, the response was some variation of “I don’t know many women who like or know a lot about football.” We’d joke and laugh about it, and I’d say something along the lines of “not bad for a girl, right?” and then we’d move on, no harm, no foul. Nothing to take offense at whatsoever.
Unfortunately, there are some perpetually offended women out there (mostly on the left) who get riled up over even the most minor perceived slight, which brings me to this next story.
NBC Sports commentator Cris Collinsworth was doing color commentary during Wednesday night’s NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers when he committed the unforgivable offense of complimenting some female football fans for their knowledge of the sport:
It happened during the second quarter of Wednesday’s Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game, which had been rescheduled three times because of coronavirus concerns. Collinsworth talked with broadcast partner Mike Tirico about conversations he had with Steelers fans before the contest.
“Everybody’s a fan,” Collinsworth said. “In particular the ladies that I met. They have really specific questions about the game, and I’m like, ‘Wow, you’re just blown away by how strong the fans are here in this town.’”
Also Chris Collinsworth was blown away that the women in Pittsburgh had really specific questions about football pic.twitter.com/eskujaRsKn
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) December 3, 2020
Collinsworth got mocked and ridiculed endlessly for it, with the Usual Suspects accusing him of being sexist, insensitive, etc. Here are a few examples:
Did Cris Collinsworth really just say he was blown away that “even the ladies I met” in Pittsburgh want to talk football? It’s fucking 2020, dude. Progress. -H
— Heather & Jessica (@fuggirls) December 2, 2020
My dad called me to get mad at Chris Collinsworth for saying “even the ladies here I’ve talked to are excited for this game” and one, I’m proud of him but two, SERIOUSLY? WERE STILL DOING THIS?
— Leighann Strollo (@LeighannStrollo) December 2, 2020
Dear Cris Collinsworth, I have some really specific questions about your sexism https://t.co/2MhZyZa7Ry
— Julie DiCaro wrote a book (@JulieDiCaro) December 2, 2020
There was quite a bit of virtue signaling from the men who joined in on the pile on, too:
Countless women enjoy and have a deep knowledge of football. Cris Collinsworth saying he’s blown away that women in Pittsburgh ask specific football questions was not good.
— Chris Vannini 😷 (@ChrisVannini) December 2, 2020
Sometimes, it’s not the overt sexism in sports — It’s these seemingly innocuous remarks that set everybody back and establish a false bar for knowledge that is quite outside the realm of reality. NBC’s Cris Collinsworth really needs to think about this. https://t.co/t3LMSWZWMa
— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) December 3, 2020
— Matt (@nosoupforgeorge) December 2, 2020
The fauxtrage was so bad that Collinsworth ended up apologizing, saying he was “sick” over the situation:
“Today on our broadcast I made reference to a couple of women that I met in Pittsburgh who so impressed me with their football knowledge that I wanted to tell their story on air. I know the way I phrased it insulted many,” the commentator said.
“I’m so sorry. What I intended as a compliment to the fans of Pittsburgh, became an insult. I’m sick about insulting any fan, but especially female fans and journalists. I know first hand how much harder they have to work than any of us in this industry. I was wrong and deeply apologize,” he continued.
While Collinsworth was “sick” over the thought of offending someone, others were “sick”, too – sick of the non-sensical, ridiculous backlash that ensued:
This is the stupidest thing to have to apologize for. As a “lady” who loves football, I find NOTHING offensive in what @CollinsworthPFF said during yesterday’s game. The cancel culture and absolute ridiculousness of everything being “offensive” is insane. https://t.co/ZAtdR3EQRv
— Robin (@wildravenmoon) December 3, 2020
If you were offended by what Chris Collinsworth said in re: women fans in Pittsburgh, you are simply looking to be offended.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) December 3, 2020
In my life I have never had a woman come up to me and ask me very specific questions about the game of football.
Why are we up in arms on this one?
— Taylor Canevari (@TACanevari) December 3, 2020
Chris Collinsworth compliments some women
— Hayden Cahoy (@HCahoy2) December 3, 2020
This one was probably my favorite of them all:
The Chris Collinsworth stuff is not misogyny. He comes from a different time where ladies weren’t as interested and certainly less vocal about sports. Being impressed with a woman’s knowledge is a compliment. Misogyny is believing a woman is lesser. Stop looking for things..
— Matthew Lane (@TownHero10) December 3, 2020
I know Collinsworth irritates a lot of NFL diehards who are not fans of his announcing style, but the outcry over this was just stupid. And just like the uproar over Dree Brees’ comments about kneeling and the American flag from earlier this year, Collinsworth didn’t deserve the heat he took over what he said.
“Woke” ladies and men, get this through your thick skulls: Sometimes a compliment is simply that: a compliment. Nothing more, nothing less. Please stop embarrassing the women of America, the vast majority of who understand that there are bigger issues going on in the world right now than a former football player paying a harmless compliment to female sports fans.
In short: Stop with the stupid, please.