In a previous life, Jamil Smith's job was to help the giant American football machine look good. Being a producer for NFL Films was a fun job for someone who loves football as much as our host does, but it also presented a lot of issues. College and professional football have a pervasive culture of hyper-masculinity that can lead to violence against women, homophobia in the locker room, and macho behavior on the field, all of which tear down potential role models for fans both young and old. So how do you balance a love for the sport of football with disapproval of its aggressive culture?
On this episode of Intersection, Jamil talks to sports journalist Jessica Luther about the details of the Baylor University rape case. Ex-player Wade Davis joins the show to discuss how he publicly came out after retiring from the NFL. Plus, Kavitha Davidson, sports journalist for Bloomberg View, and men and masculinities professor Cliff Leek weigh in on how masculinity makes football what it is—for better or for worse.
Take a listen, using the links above.
For more, peruse this week's reading list.
- Silence at Baylor, by Jessica Luther and Dan Solomon for Texas Monthly
- Baylor Football's Blind Eye to Violence, by Kavitha Davison for Bloomberg View
- The Weight, by Mardy Fish for The Players' Tribune
- The NFL's Macho Culture Must Die, by Jamil Smith for the New Republic
- Op-Ed: Russell Tovey, Sexism, and Imaginary Masculinity, by Wade Davis for The Advocate