Houston, we REALLY have a problem.
“Five former Houston Texans cheerleaders sue team over low pay, harassment”
If this was 2013, it may have been a shocking headline to read, but sadly for me in today’s climate, it is not.
The power of women’s voices and the abusive actions of men have been on large display to everyone over the last year. From the various actors, comedians, and even politicians, women have begun to speak out on the horrible actions men in power have subjected them to. In America when something sweeps across the forefront of our entertainment and politics its bound to touch our sports, and as of recent, the NFL has begun its turn.
Five women are accusing the Houston Texans’ organization of paying them below minimum wage, subjecting some of them to physical abuse, sexual harassment, and bullying. This news comes months after Texans’ owner Robert McNair took back his apology on referring to NFL players as “inmates” and sparking the debate of him being racist back to the forefront. Two major stories surrounding a professional football team that has nothing to do with football.
What can be done?
I’m not here to provide solutions but rather opinions. In the case of Mr. McNair, the players and fans have a right to be upset. When it comes to this new cheerleader controversy the opposite is true. I’ll be the first to admit, there have been instances of women taking advantage of the new climate who have lied or told half-truths just to get a check. In my opinion though, when it comes to an issue as serious as sexual harassment, the benefit of the doubt should be applied. If the NFL’s investigation comes back with evidence of any wrongdoing, the Texans need to accept all blame and apologize rather than making excuses and rejecting any wrongful deeds on their part. I.E do the opposite of what the owner did.
At the end of the day, the Houston Texans is a football organization. Football needs to be the headlines, not sexual harassment, and not racism. It may be time to make a change from the top down.
Clean up your act Texans, your fans (and cheerleaders) deserve better.