You want the Dodger score, you get…cleavage.
For one thing, we play sports. Mom and Dad are runners. Our son and oldest daughter race cross country and play soccer. That same daughter is right now in a basketball program. Our two younger daughters are also on soccer teams. That’s right, on any given weeknight, you’re liable to find us shuttling from a cross country course to a practice soccer pitch to a sweaty gym with bathroom and water breaks in between.
But wait, there’s more…
In our family, we also coach sports. This year Mom started a 100 Mile Club at our elementary school. As such, she’s spending the year inspiring, rallying and cajoling dozens of kids through their quest to run 100 miles by year-end. On top of that, both Mom and Dad are coaching soccer teams. So, to bookend our weekdays, you can find us starting our day at school before the bell helping kids run laps and the finishing our day trying to wrangle a bunch of little girls into soccer players.
Hold on. There’s still more…
Because our family is also a sports watching family. In person and on TV. In fact, when it comes to TV, Dad is pretty well addicted. If someone’s competing and we get the channel, I’m predisposed to watch it. Especially if it’s English soccer. And particularly if Manchester United is playing.
So you can imagine my joy this year when our son caught the sports watching bug. In fact, he’s become a rabid sports fan. Honestly, it’s made us closer, and I cherish that. When asked the other day at school what his favorite TV show was, he answered, of course, “SportsCenter.”
So last night, when we went online to check the score of the Dodger game, imagine my chagrin and frustration when I saw this:
Now I’m no fool. I realize how the system works. ESPN signs on advertisers in order to generate revenue. On top of that, I also know that certain ads appeal to certain target groups. And, yes, it makes sense that sports fans are also Grand Theft Auto V game fans, and that the way to their wallets is through massive, cartoonish cleavage.
It makes sense, but that doesn’t make it right. After all, I want to talk to my boy about baseball, not boobs. I want us to check out the scores, not a woman’s chest. And when I go to ESPN, I want to help my son learn about the games I love, not our culture’s obsession with objectifying women.
Honestly, its exhausting to continue to have this conversation. Yet have it we shall. Because, in the end, our family is more than a sports family.
We’re also a family who stands for what’s right.