Skip to main content

Locker room talk? As an NFL mother, I'm livid about Trump's misogynistic comments

Eli Apple's mom had a particularly disappointing Sunday night. Her son's team lost its third straight game, which was nothing compared to Donald Trump making a mockery of presidential politics.

As I tried to sort out my thoughts while watching the Giants-Packers game from home and concurrently following the presidential debate online, the opening lines from my favorite Charles Dickens novel sang to me: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair... These words summed up my emotions on Sunday night. A Tale of Two Cities was A Tale of Two Losses as the Giants’ lost to the Packers while the debate was a major defeat for America.

We didn't travel to Green Bay because we honestly didn't expect black Eli to play since he was still nursing a strained hamstring and had barely practiced all week. When I learned from him Sunday afternoon that he would be playing, I was surprised but I'm no doctor or coach. Even so I’m always concerned about my son’s health. One of the best pieces of advice I got came during Eli's freshmen year of college from a dear friend, Betty, the mother of Broncos' cornerback Bradley Roby. She told me to always make sure your child athlete sees his family doctor and gets a full body scan after each season to make sure there are no lingering injuries, and that the doctors and trainers work for the team. This is the same advice I give to athletic parents today. Even if your son or daughter is resistant or reluctant, let them know it’s not an indictment on his coaches or the program; it’s proactive parenting. You have to look out for your child, especially during the college years. The team may have a hundred student-athletes on its roster, but you only have one. Look out for the health and well-being of yours now and you won’t have unknown, undiagnosed and untreated health issues later. Now that’s he in the NFL, Black Eli is fully accountable for his health. As a parent all I can do is present my children with pros and cons and allow them to make their own choices.

Black Eli tried to give it a go. I was proud that he listened to his body when he couldn’t. Everything as a rookie is a learning experience. It’s year one and game five of the rest of career.

The dramatic highs and lows on the sidelines of Monday Night Football

Watching the Giants take a third straight loss was brutal. I actually thought we would turn the game around. Before frustration reared its useless head, I remembered that all things take time and they all work for good if we stay the course, commit to getting better and support one another. That's a winning strategy not just on the field but in life. Sometimes on our road to victories, we have to take some losses. What we learn from those losses will make us winners.

SI Recommends

But sometimes there are losses that come without a silver lining, but more a possible change in course if we make up our minds to go in the right direction. Yes, the Giants took an L on Sunday, but it was nothing like the loss suffered by America. Coming into the debate, Donald Trump's lewd, misogynistic remarks caught on tape had the country rightfully tattered and outraged. Republican leaders’ felt the need to be disgusted because of their connection to their daughters and granddaughters. It’s sad to know their humanity has been asleep their entire lives. Women aren't just granddaughters, daughters, wives, sisters and moms. We're humans. We are people too. We deserve basic humanity and respect.

Trump's response to his own words heard on tape? “It's just locker room talk.” I never knew Trump was on a sports team. What sport did he play and in what locker room is such depravity a norm? When was the last time Donald was in a locker room? With all that’s happening in our country, the debate focused on petty issues instead of presidential matters like the economy, equal education, jobs, healthcare, safety and the environment. “Locker room talk” was the talk of the debate and the weekend. And while we’re on the subject, let’s be clear: kissing a woman, grabbing her genitals without her consent is sexual assault. There's no place for the lowest behavior in the highest office.

Earlier in the week, I started following the civil trial of Knicks point guard Derrick Rose as a woman accused him and his two friends of gang rape. According to the woman, she was intoxicated and may have been drugged by Rose and his friends, then gang raped when they came into her home, where she’d gone. As I read the details, they were heartbreaking. I’m not here to debate the facts of the case or pretend I know exactly what happened that night. But on what planet does a man think it’s OK for him and his TWO buddies to have sex with an intoxicated woman? This week has further unveiled the dehumanization, objectification and depravity of common male mentality towards women.

Watch: Tom Brady walks out of press conference after Donald Trump question

Trump’s lewd, misogynistic words unfortunately project a mentality too wildly accepted in society. Yes, it sounds shocking when it’s recorded in a conversation but unfortunately misogyny is often the norm and embedded in our culture, in our music, films, sports. Our culture finds misogyny entertaining. It's glorified in our music. Women are called bitches, hos, and are referred by their body parts. The problem is we're too focused on trying to change spot behavior without changing the culture.

The likelihood of a silver lining from this whole Trump’s disgusting remarks is slim.. Yes, this has opened the door for conversations regarding how women are addressed, viewed and treated. But as we know, the American social media outrage has an expiration date. We’re outraged until something more outrageous happens. Then we trade that outrage for another. Clearly we’re living in the best of times and definitely the worst of times.