Online media gives athletes a chance to shrug off "dumb jock" image

Professional athletes, due to the nature of their business, are generally known for their bodies and not necessarily their minds.

Over the years, the media and popular culture have developed the stereotype of the "dumb jock." Granted, many athletes really are dumb and even some of those who aren't feed into this stereotype by giving monotone responses and one-word answers during interviews.

However, there are some athletes who aren't dumb, in fact some are actually pretty darn smart. And luckily for us (the fans) and them (the jocks), we live in an era where online media can give these athletes an outlet to disprove the stereotype.

In a recent example (with a local Maryland connection!) of an athlete using internet communication and journalism outlets to his advantage, Chris Kluwe, a punter for the Minnesota, took to the web in defense of gay marriage.

The story begins with Raven's linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has publicly spoken out in support of Maryland's upcoming ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage. Ayanbadejo's comments raised the ire of Maryland state delegate Emmett Burns, Jr. Burns wrote Raven's owner Steve Bisciotti a letter asking him to put a muzzle on his player and keep him from commenting on the divisive issue.

Kluwe took umbrage with Burns' attempts to restrict Ayanbadejo's constitutional right to free speech (as well as Burns' conservative political ideology) and penned a response to Burns' letter.

Kluwe published the response on Deadspin.com, a sports news/gossip site which Kluwe has written pieces for in the past. The web post went viral and has garnered close to 2 million page views in less than a week.

1 comment:

Chris Harvey said...

Lucas, please be wary of perpetuating stereotypes with sweeping generalizations. (As in, "Granted, many athletes really are dumb...")

Could you also add links to your post, so we can see the Deadspin.com piece and the back-and-forth in the dust-up?