From London: understanding the women's soccer team taking their time after the game last night
The Kansas City Star
LONDON — The progress of women’s sports has been a recurring theme in the blog and in columns and I had another moment last night while watching a women’s soccer team play in front of a crowd too big for all but one NFL stadium back home^.
^ Two, if you count Cowboy Stadium’s expandability.
It wasn’t during what turned out to be a really good game, highlighted by Carli Lloyd’s two goals and Hope Solo’s fantastic play.
It was after, much after, when a whole mess of reporters waited in the mixed zone to talk to the players^.
^ You do NOT, by the way, want to mess with Japanese reporters on their way to Japanese athletes. The force is strong in them.
We waited, I’m guessing, close to an hour and a half. And I don’t mention this in hopes that you’ll feel sorry for a bunch of journalists covering the Olympics in London, both because that would be ridiculous and that’s not the point.
Typically, the wait is much shorter, even for medal events. Many times, we’re talking a matter of 10 minutes. Some of the other writers who’ve been around the women’s team much longer than I said the old PR man wouldn’t have let it go this long and I take them at their word. They’d know.
But I also wondered if there was something else going on here, besides the gold medal celebration. Those women know there are a lot of media waiting for them, a lot of them with cameras, and they know they’re judged — consciously or otherwise — on their looks much more than their male counterparts.
Everyone was showered when they came out, most with at least basic makeup. I don’t know why they took so long to come out, of course. But it’s easy to imagine they didn’t want to be on camera until they got themselves properly ready.
And it’s easy to understand. This is part of the progress still to be made.