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“You play ball like a girl!”

The Sandlot (1993) will forever be known for the escapades involving baseball, tree house sleep-overs, the lifeguard at the local pool that the boys go goo-goo for, the stuck up over confident enemy baseball team, and the nicknamed kids (Smalls, Benny the Jet, Ham, Yeah Yeah, Squints, and Repeat are a few of them). And we all know the legend of what’s passed the fence of The Sandlot, the Beast.

One of my favorite scenes in this movie is where Hamilton Porter has a verbal debate against a local “hot shot” in order to defend his teammates and friends.  The famous line used in the verbal debate that many of us have been guilty of having association with( commonly in athletics) is “You play ball like a girl!”

In the moment, we all laugh and cheer on Ham as he takes on the enemy, but this phrase has brought up a few problems which is why we should avoid these sort of phrases.

In many athletics, coaches and players use this phrase as motivation to play better.  We can get the impression that “playing ball like a girl” means that you would be viewed as less talented and unequal to the boys.  In reality, it is an insult to women.  Even if you are being called a “sissy” or anything of that matter it is still referring to females.  Many people say that they don’t think of these types of references as an insult to women because it happens unconsciously, but I think it is something everyone should be aware of who the real victim can be.

Am I making this out to be a bigger deal than what it should be?


About scheppmj

Albion College Student-Athlete

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