To create a safe sports climate, you also have to see what not to do

To create a safe sports climate, you also have to see what not to do

strong blows It is an exaggerated American series about a male-only American football team. It shows a culture that the Netherlands is slowly moving away from.

Cake Homes

In front of a room with eighty men, Kalil Pimpleton tries to throw a ball under his leg while juggling and catches it again. He fails the first time, but the entire room explodes when the second attempt succeeds. The audience stands on the benches, literally, enthusiastically applauding the young athlete.

It’s a mesmerizing scene from the third episode of the 2022 season strong blows, a series about the fortunes of the Detroit Lions, a top-ranked American football team in the NFL. For the nineteenth season, which can be seen on ESPN, among others, the Detroit team was selected this time. It is a documentary that is almost realistic, as the team is followed day in and day out in preparation for the new season.

Hard Knocks provides insight into a culture within an all-male team.HBO . picture

Not everyone will immediately want to watch a series about one of the toughest sports out there. American football is very similar to martial arts, rugby, but it wears heavy protective suits. The atmosphere is macho. It is solid rock. He must be better, he must be faster, and the opposition must be crushed. There is a lot of swearing, although that is left off the set with a lot of beeps. Above all, the series is very American, with plenty of lavish theatrical gestures and unabashed sentiment.

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No change in culture

Then why watch? Because it gives insight into a culture within a team made up entirely of men. In recent years, the sports world has repeatedly encountered a new reality, in which a safe sports climate is an important topic. In gymnastics, for example, this movement is visible not only in Holland, but also in the United States. This cultural change does not happen in the world’s richest sport.

In fact: it’s hardly a subject, as it turns out strong blows. No woman is seated at a large U-shaped table as all the coordinators come together to select the top 53 players of the season from the G80.

Not that nothing has been done about diversity in American football. The NFL proudly presented a statistic earlier this season by announcing that 25 female coaches are active in the 32-team league. But this is still a little. By comparison, the Detroit Lions alone employ 36 employees. Three governors were appointed.

Passion and passion

strong blows So it’s almost a leftover, pictorial relic of old-fashioned sports culture, though in 2022 it still happens daily in American football. Certainly, there are a lot of nuances. The moment in Episode One when coach Dan Campbell gets emotional when he declares that he’s doing everything in his power to get his “kids” to their best shows the passion within the team.

But the rough edge of elite sport is becoming very apparent. It’s all about winning. It may not be fun to look at, but it is well worth the effort to see the mechanisms that unconsciously occur in such a sports culture that there is so much debate now. Responsible sports, not crossing each other’s borders: this is only possible if you see how this should not be done.

strong blows It can be seen on ESPN

Every week De Serie discusses a series or podcast that can be watched on TV, Netflix, or anywhere else.

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