Jewish Journal


November 19, 2009

Unsportsmanlike conduct


The religion angle here is weak. The story is about a women’s soccer match between the University of New Mexico and Brigham Young University, a Mormon school named after one of the heroes of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, which is a a religion. Therefore ... you’ve got to watch the above video.

What made these acts of violence so fascinating was that in my torts class only the day before we had been discussing what would constitute a battery on an athletic playing field. I contended that when playing competitive sports, participants agree to be subjected to some physical contact that is outside the licit bounds of the game—late hits in football, for instance, or fighting in hockey—and that absent malice there shouldn’t be liability. (Rudy Tomjanovich suing Kermit Washington for almost killing him with one punch on the basketball court might be an anomaly.)

Anyway, all this leads to the outrageously entertaining extracurriculars of the Lobos’ Elizabeth Lambert:

“I still deeply regret it and will always regret it and will carry it through the rest of my life not to retaliate,” said Lambert, a 20-year-old junior on scholarship.

She has watched the video a handful of times and does not recognize herself pulling down Brigham Young’s Kassidy Shumway, Lambert said.

“I look at it and I’m like, ‘That is not me,’ ” said Lambert, a defender and an all-conference academic player. “I have so much regret. I can’t believe I did that.”

After this brief moment of remorse with The New York Times, Lambert gets defensive and tries to blame the negative attention on gender inequality. Seriously:

“I definitely feel because I am a female it did bring about a lot more attention than if a male were to do it,” Lambert said. “It’s more expected for men to go out there and be rough. The female, we’re still looked at as, Oh, we kick the ball around and score a goal. But it’s not. We train very hard to reach the highest level we can get to. The physical aspect has maybe increased over the years. I’m not saying it’s for the bad or it’s been too overly aggressive. It’s a game. Sports are physical.”

She added: “I think the way the video came out, it did make me look like a monster. That’s not the type of player I am. I’m not just out there trying to hurt players. That’s taking away from the beauty of the game. And I would never want to do that.”

Personally, I thought everything in the above video was within the expanded parameters of a competitive game—even soccer—until she yanked the girl down by her pony tail. That looked like she was trying to pop a Barbie doll’s head off.

After the jump, the most unsportsmanlike moments in sports:

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