Monday, June 25, 2007

Steve's Take

I finally met Steve Davis for the first time when he was in Los Angeles recently for a couple of games, including Abel Xavier's debut.

He sent me an email (I got his permission to print it here), with a tale that crystallized for me why I wanted to tell my story of the Marcos Gonzalez incident. I don't think a young Steve Davis meant to be insensitive to his fellow reporter - I think he just wasn't expecting what happened. If you have time to think about what you would do in such a given instance because you've heard of such things happening, you're more likely to respond with exactly that.

--Hey, Andrea

Just read on Sideline Views what happened. Got even
more PO'ed about it when you said you felt "lousy."

I guess I can understand that, but ... man, it sucks
to feel lousy when you certainly didn't do anything

I'm increasingly upset about the MLS locker room
policies as it is. Some teams just kind of make up
their own rules. I'll go by whatever MLS wants... I
just want them to spell out a league policy and stick
to it.

What happened yesterday just says once again that lots
of people don't understand the locker room policy (or
basic code of conduct, it seems) of their own league.

When I was about 27 or 28, I was inside a football
locker room when a revered coach said something sexist
and just plain stupid to a female reporter. I really
didn't know her, so I just said to her "Oh, forget
him," or something like that and went on with my
business. In retrospect, what I did was reprehensible
as a reporter. I should have written about what he
said, got it out in the public, and then accepted the
consequences if any of my male reporter friends wanted
to get all uppity about it. I promised to never again
let somebody get away with something like that.

So, I'm also a little ashamed that nobody around
stepped up. I know you can take care of yourself, but
in that situation, a little support goes a long way,
making you feel less out-manned, you know.

Anyway, sorry, I just wanted to type a short note
of support. Got steamed and a little carried away.

If there's anything I can do in an effort to get MLS
toeing the line again on locker room access/conduct,
please let me know.



A.C. said...

Steve doesn't use the same term Luis does, but he has an interesting namecalling side to him, as well.

(Part of his reply)

People might have a point if you and Luis never wrote about
your daily adventures as reporters. But that's EXACTLY
what you do all the time. It's (partially, anyway) a
chronicle of your lives as you cover soccer.

Anybody who thinks you shouldn't have posted about
Marcos and your exchange gets my "Cotton-headed
Ninny-muggins Of the Day" Award."

Anonymous said...

I think we've all heard enough about this incident.

D said...

AC and Anon: I appreciate your writing on this incident. For goodness sakes, if you can't use your blog to write about this sort of thing, then what's the point? I think these posts are illuminating, if a bit depressing. It's not like you were seeking out this incident, it's something that happened and you have every right (and duty, I think) to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

But wouldn't fair reporting entail getting Marco's side of the story and why he felt uncomfortable. Maybe the reporters should conduct a few interviews in towels and see how it feels. By posting that e-mail it seems you are trying to make this more about Marco's being a sexist pig without knowing asking why he did not want you there. Instead you are trying to label him. Defamation is actually what it is.

A.C. said...

He told me why he didn't want me there - I don't see why my taking him at his word is defamation.

jason said...

I've found it interesting just how upset some people have been once Canales raised the charge of sexism.

She has been accused of religious discrimination against all believers--which came out of nowhere. She has been accused of not understanding Latin American culture, of which she has some knowledge, sufficiently to report frustrations.

If the charge can't be raised when the reasons are explicitly discriminatory, and against explicit policy, when can they?

Marco's ultimate motivations do not matter. It is the effect of his actions, if unchecked, that matter.

Anonymous said...

So him not wanting to get naked in front of a woman that is not his wife makes him a bad guy?

A.C. said...

No one was forcing him to get naked. He could have waited until I left. He could have stepped into the training room, adjacent coaches locker room, shower area, etc. He could have have stepped six paces around the corner and into the hallway. He could have realized that since I was in the middle of an interview with someone else, the odds of my turning around were low and he could have been fully dressed in less then a minute.

He DID NOT have to change in front of me, because I was not in from of him. That's ridiculous. No one was forcing any display from him. I was getting quotes from other players.