The trend of telling people to ‘stick to sports’ is problematic. This is especially true when it comes to women writing about issues within the league that many men are willing to ignore. “Sticking to sports” is a phrase that means, ‘I see what you’re writing, but I don’t want your opinion.’
Then why are you still commenting?
Recently, Jonathan Toews wrote a post about climate change on his Instagram.
Do you believe in climate change? Whether you're super pumped that we are putting 'Americans first' or you are absolutely outraged at the idea that we are taking yet another step backwards in dealing with a major global problem, the only way to solve this argument is to try and set your own agenda aside and see how this affects everybody. The only lie we tell ourselves is that we are more special than other life forms on the planet. Well, we're not. Even if we weren't responsible for any major climate catastrophes heading our way, shouldn't we still do our part to preserve what we have left? The same way that we shouldn't wait till our bodies break down completely to start doing the right things to stay healthy, let's not wait till it's too late to do something. I am not saying I am perfectly 'green', but the first step is to keep an open mind and try to learn what you don't already know.
If you know anything about Toews, you know he is a very conscious, low human-impact person, as well as a health nut. He is a forward-thinker when it comes to the environment, and even grows his own plants for food on his rooftop.
Most of the comments he receives are ‘you should just stick to sports’ and ‘don’t be political.’
This is also said to many writers, most of whom are women, when they start talking about things that are not ‘traditional’ sports coverage. When people bring up issues such as homophobia, injuries (and how players/teams treat them), sexual assault, and violence against women, ‘stick to sports’ is one of the most frequently used comments. These are topics that need to be discussed within the sports community and there is nothing overly political about them.
If each site just ‘stuck to sports’, then the content would be dry and people would start to go other places looking for the ‘human touch’. Sites like the ones here at SB Nation are a community, but respect is needed from both sides.
‘Sticking to sports’ is not something many of the SB Nation sites are known for, especially not the successful ones. Pension Plan Puppets, one of the most successful sites for hockey in the community, is known for their long form pieces when something happens re: assault or violence against women. They receive threats of all sorts even still, which is not okay.
Here at Five For Howling, we don’t plan on ‘sticking to sports’ because discussing things that are on the seedy side of the sport is still sports. We will talk about the Coyotes, hockey, and things that happen within the league dealing with issues like the ones listed above.
If you are looking for just news and no personal feelings or touches, you can go to ArizonaCoyotes.com. If not, you can join our community and make it a more respectful place.