Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Joakim Noah vs Hope Solo

The elective benching of Joakim Noah by his teammates for what they felt was conduct unbecoming of a teammate was viewed by some analysts as veterans merely teaching the rookie a lesson. Some even went so far as to say the team benched him because they care about him and want what's best for him. Bullshit. Hope Solo's benching by her teammates for what they too felt was conduct unbecoming of a teammate was described by SI as "sorority-style vindictiveness" and labeled one of 2007's worst stories.

So why isn't what the Bulls did labeled vindictive, fraternity-style or not? If anything, I think what the Bulls did was worse because they made a private issue public. The U.S. women's soccer team reacted publicly to something a player did in public. Whatever happened between Noah and assistant coach Ron Adams occurred behind closed doors and was taken care of by the coaching staff - hardly unusual, minor story, the end. Then, the players take the unprecedented step of voting to bench him for another game and it becomes a national story that increases the scrutiny on an already unstable team. Now, every laugh and remark is being analyzed to death with he said, he said stories coming out of the locker room. And girls are supposed to be the gossipy, vindictive ones?