HOLLY SEYMOUR

A different take on the Kareem Hunt situation

Kareem Hunt will no longer be a Chief. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I am a victim of rape. I have a family member who is a victim of domestic violence. I also have a very close friend who was kicked out of the NFL and his name forever shamed for being accused of beating his girlfriend. With that being said…

This has been a touchy subject and I always try to remain open minded. 

There are two sides to every story; however, when a video is leaked for the public to see, it makes people feel a certain way. When we hear accusations of domestic violence, our first reaction is to be disgusted. Then we give ourselves a moment to relax and listen to the alleged offender. For example, Reuben Foster. In the earlier incident this year, we had to give him the benefit of the doubt because the case was thrown out and we had no solid proof. 

The video release of Kareem Hunt will not need a second story. Am I taking the woman’s side? Not exactly. If it IS true and she did use racial slurs, I judge her as I would anyone who does that. A disgusting human, racism will NEVER be tolerated in my eyes. We all witnessed her slap Hunt in the face. She is out of line and obviously started the incident. BUT. Watching Hunt not only shove her, but kick her while she was on the ground makes him the (excuse my language) POS. He could have easily walked away, called security. Why? Because unless a man TRULY fears for his life, it is NEVER acceptable to put your hands on a woman. EVER. 

Let me jump to the other side here for a moment. Some women are bullies. They know a man’s hot spot (and I don’t mean the good one). These women like to “poke the bear.” In my friend’s case, he told her multiple times “please leave.” She instead insisted on harassing him, throwing things at his face, adding fuel to the fire. Is it still OK to touch her? NO. I just wanted to give light to the other picture. The picture we’re not supposed to see.  

For anyone who sides with Kareem Hunt, Reuben Foster, Ray Rice… The list goes on… I ask you to do me one favor. Open your mind. Put yourself in the position the woman was in. Do you know what it’s like to feel scared for your life? To be in a room or a car with someone who has full power over you? Personally, it takes a lot to put fear inside of me but I have been there. I have even been there, surrounded by his family and friends while they stood there and did nothing to help me. And I can tell you, it is an awful feeling to know that you can’t grab your phone or ask anyone for help. To know that you have to be silent or apologize repeatedly for something you didn’t even do. Because at any second, your life can end. If not end, an ass beating from hell may as well make you feel like dying. 

One last side, the NFL’s side. Shame on them for only “handling” the matter when it was exposed. For giving fans the notion that it is OK unless you are caught. This league only cares about money. Kareem Hunt is a special player. His talent is immaculate and exciting to watch. His TALENT brings in ratings and sells jerseys. Unfortunately, this will not change. This is a money-influenced world. Do we ban the sport? No. Do we stop buying sports gear? No. We just hope that the players in those locker rooms influence their teammates in positive ways. We hope that men learn to walk away, be grateful for the opportunity to do what they love and play the sport they worked their entire lives to play at this level. 

 

Being a part of the sports media, I will always remain open minded and view every assault/abuse case fairly. I will always listen to both sides. However, I will NEVER side with video footage showing any form of abuse towards a woman.

Cheerleaders are supposed to be hot. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In this age of safe spaces and emotional support animals I understand the plight of the modern day cheerleader and power dancer. They shouldn't have to hear hurtful words.

Longtime Texans cheerleader director Alto Gary was accused of calling her cheerleaders crack whores and porn stars when they wore too much makeup. This week a MIlwaukee Bucks cheerleader said she was locked in a dark closet and had to endure jiggle tests and fat grabbing.

These methods are probably unnecessary. Are they lawsuit worthy? That's for smarter people to decide. The Bucks did settle a suit for $250,000 because they underpaid their cheerleaders. That's something I can get behind. But that's arguable as well.

Exactly what are we looking for in our cheerleaders as 2018 comes to a close?

There are two main priorities in the cheer game: looks and dance-ability. We've gotten away from the gymnastics aspect. In high school competition it's still important but in the pro game we've gone to more synchronized dancing.

What we haven't gotten away from is how important it is to look good. As politically incorrect as that might be, it isn't going away anytime soon, maybe ever. We want our cheerleaders to look good. Sorry. Call me a neanderthal. Political correctness will never overcome a guy's pentiant to look at pretty girls. It just won't.

What we have here is the issue of how the cheerleaders are being treated and paid. Are the hurtful words necessary? No. But guess what. Stuff happens when livelihoods are on the line. You know what coaches call their players when they gain weight and get out of shape? You don't want to know. It's ugly. Body shaming? You bet. Happens every day in locker rooms all across the country at every level.

Some coaches are just mean and will pick at any inadequacy. Others use it as a motivational tactic. Who wants to be shamed publicly? No one but if I stay in shape I won't catch the coach's wrath so I stay in shape.

Let me make this perfectly clear though. I am anti-eating disorder. I like a little meat on the bones. That cheerleaders have to be Victoria Secret models is a thing of the past. Nothing wrong with some muffin tops in my book. I would be a great cheerleader director. After practice we'd order a few pizzas.

I'd be the only one who would do that but OK. Maybe I would change the game. Probably not but maybe.

As far as the inferior pay goes, I'm not sure that will change anytime soon. I don't want to be mean but let's be real. Cheerleaders are part of the game. They are not the game. Unless you are extremely perverted (and there are much better ways to get your perv on) the only people that are there just for the cheerleaders are their family and boyfriends/husbands.

The players are the product and they're expensive. Periphery attractions have to be affordable or the business plan doesn't work. Cheerleaders can and should make more than the miserly owners have been paying them but they're never going to get rich cheering. They're just not.

My cousin was a Honey Bear back in the day. She didn't make squat but she loved what she did and no one can ever take that away from her. There's a certain pride that goes along with it, not only for her but for the whole family. My cousin was hot enough to be a Bear's cheerleader. None of my friends had family that hot. I lauded that over them.

Let's not relent to political correctness on this. We just can't. Should directors lock cheerleaders in closets? Grab their fat? Wrap them in cellophane? Probably not. Should they at least make minimum wage and maybe more? Sure.

But we can't lower our hotness standards. They have to be smokin' hot and dance well.

I want my mechanic to know engines and fix my problem. I want my doctor to diagnose and cure my ills. I want my pilot to take off and land without incident and I want my cheerleaders and/or power dancers to be hot and dance well. That's the job. Period.

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