Oral sex jokes will never go out of style, but there is a time and place for them. Ninth grade sex-ed class, for example. Not on co-ed recreational softball team T-shirts. But, I saw an entire co-ed intramural softball team wearing T-shirts that read, in bright yellow letters, “Co-ed = Mo’ head.”
Contrary to what some may think, this is not as innocent as some might claim. This type of language is both sexist and immature, particularly when demonstrated at a function that serves to blend men and women as equals in relation to sports, a goal that has been hard to accomplish.
To wear a shirt that disrespects women at a sports function also disrespects the sport and undermines what universities attempt to accomplish by providing co-recreational sports. That is, to think of men and women as athletically equal.
This team name is not only worn by an entire softball team, it is registered as the official team name on Temple’s Campus Recreation 2009 intramural softball schedule.
Director of Campus Recreation Steve Young said in the rush to create schedules after registration deadlines have passed, inappropriate team names are sometimes unintentionally overlooked. He said if a team name is blatantly offensive and the department catches it, teams are forced to change the name.
“This one, I believe, was an oversight,” Young said about the “Co-ed = Mo’ head” team name.
This might also explain another distasteful team name on the schedule, “The D.C. Snipers.”
But Young goes on to explain that while Campus Recreation can regulate team names to some extent, it can’t stop them from wearing the T-shirts.
“We’ll take responsibility for not catching the team name,” Young said, “but when they put the shirts on…we’d be hard-pressed to get involved in censorship.”
While Campus Recreation should have noticed the team name and prevented it from being registered, the responsibility lies mostly with the students wearing the shirts.
“When I first saw [the shirts], I was really offended,” said Kate Cody, a junior kinesiology major and former high school softball player. “I feel like [softball] is a sport that has become a woman’s sport. It’s like a slap in the face.”
Cody plays for a co-recreational intramural softball team at Temple and saw the shirts after a game a few weeks ago.
“No one has really been offended by the team name,” said Joe Soloski, captain of the “Co-ed = Mo’ head” team, via Facebook. “Some girls think it’s gross…but most people have just laughed.”
Gross? More like disgusting. While intramural softball is just a recreational game to pass the time and stay in shape, it shouldn’t be a free-for-all.
I’ve played softball for the past 12 years, and there was a time when it was one of the most important things in my life. This team name makes a mockery of female athletes and makes Temple look like a careless university.
“If someone came up to me and said [the team name] offended them,” Soloski said. “I would tell them to relax…it’s just a creative team name for softball, and if you’re offended, then I am sorry that you are that uptight.”
For the sake of female athletes everywhere, I hope others are just as “uptight” as I am.
Leah Mafrica can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .