Skip to comments.The Reaction to LeBronís Cramps Shows We Still Have Some Dangerously Stupid Views on Masculinity
Posted on 06/06/2014 12:26:34 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Last night's Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat was quite memorable, largely because the air conditioning in the AT&T Center in San Antonio broke, forcing players to swelter through 90-degree on-court temperatures. As a result, LeBron James developed cramps and asked for an uncharacteristic breather down the stretch. He went back into the game with about four minutes left, hit a nice layup to cut the Spur's lead to 2, and then stood paralyzed at the wrong end of the floor while the action continued. He looked like he was in tremendous pain, like his legs simply couldn't carry his 260-pound frame the 50 feet over to his bench, and eventually had to be carried part of the way.
The Heat lost partly because LeBron wasn't on the court, but also because the Spurs hit a brutal late cavalcade of three-pointers. After the game, the jerks of Twitter had a field day:
Yes, it's easy to highlight some nasty tweets after just about any news event and overgeneralize based on them. And surely if you called up the individual tweeters and inquired as to their motives, they'd say it was all in good fun, that they're just kidding around. But there were a lot of these tweets, and they fit a long-standing pattern. In addition to the obvious misogyny on display here ("LeBron is a woman! Having her period! Hurr!"), this view of masculinity you play through the pain, and if you're not on the court or field when it matters most, you are a failure or a coward is both stupid and dangerous.
As the Daily News reported last year, a recent study showed that about a dozen high-school and college football players drop dead on the field every year, and half the time it's not because of a traumatic injury sustained during play:
Kelly Dougherty, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, said she found the number of heat-related deaths in particular "quite alarming."
Many of those deaths happened in the South during preseason play, including at two-a-day practices.
"These are preventable deaths," said Dougherty, who has studied heat acclimation but wasn't involved in the new study.
"This article highlights the urgent need for future research studies that would investigate children's and especially football players' body temperature responses during practice (and) during games," she told Reuters Health.
Usually when we talk about gender norms we're talking about women, and for good reason overall, women have to deal with a lot more crap on this front, have to worry about all sorts of societal pressures that men don't. But guys aren't immune, and these deaths aren't occurring in a vacuum: They're happening as a result of a very specific, culturally reinforced view of masculinity.
It should tell us something that not even LeBron James, the best basketball player on the planet and a freakishly athletic embodiment of, yes, toughness, is immune to it. Imagine you're a second- or third-string marginal athlete on some high-school football team in the middle of nowhere. What's your reaction to this? What do the tweets about Midol tell you about the need to "man up" the next time you're struggling during practice under a hot August sun?
The kids are having a laugh riot over this on Twitter. “Le-Broning” has replaced Tebowing for the moment. I think Lebron in one of those stars that the majority love to hate, sort of like Gweneth Paltrow in blackface if you will.
Willis Reed he ain’t.
Good lord what a ridiculous article...
LJ didn’t have enough to drink. If they had known it would be 90+ degrees they could have prepared a little better. Most of the heat related deaths he/she references are in August in 100+ degree conditions where stupid coaches don’t allow the players to have water breaks. I’ve been there. i went through two-a-days in Georgia where “water was for the weak.” Nothing new here.
Has anyone made the comparison to MJ playing with the flu yet?
If you have never had cramps then do not comment on this. They are the absolute worst, most debilitating injury you can have.
A severe cramp in a calf or thigh muscle will simply bring you to your knees and you can do nothing else until it’s gone.
LeBron brought it upon himself with that “The Decision” nonsense.
Not to be mean but LeBron isn’t paid that money to fail to properly hydrate and leave the court for the 4th quarter. Cramps are 100% preventable, he didn’t, there’s nothing wrong with giving him guff for it.
But none of the other players developed cramps? Shouldn't more players have gotten cramps if playing in 90 degree heat causes it?
I woke up with cramps in both legs before. That is horrible.
But this article is ridiculous on multiple levels.
Agree 100%. “I’m taking my talents to South Beach...”
What an a-hole.
Hah! I used to get calf cramps during the 3rd quarter of almost every water polo game I played. Couldn’t move my feet until they were stretched back into place.
Nothing but a little bit of pain. Lebron is a girly boy.
You did not have a real cramp then.
LOL! That’s hilarious!
Had the Heat training staff actually done their jobs this would have been a non issue. LeBron has a history of cramping (even in comfortable A/C conditions). It was incumbent on them to get him hydrated at half... they probably should have administered an IV or pulled him at the end of the 4th... gotten him hydrated and put him back out at the end of the 4th.
Cramping can be debilitating, especially when the thigh muscles go, but it was completely preventable.
It’s 91 outside... millions of people might get the Lebrons.... I mean cramps... or not
> You did not have a real cramp then.
I know what “real” cramps are. Had to tread water using only my arms.
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