David is joined this week by New York Times reporter and author Karen Crouse to have a discussion about sexism in sports, and Crouse’s article, "At Wimbledon, Married Women are Still 'Mrs.'" Later in the show, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post comes on to discuss a college basketball corruption case that now involves the University of Maryland.
NYT’s Karen Crouse on sexist traditions in sports
Karen Crouse covers sports for the New York Times. She is also the author of “Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town's Secret to Happiness and Excellence.”
One of her latest articles for the Times explores Wimbledon’s apparent fixation on the marital status of female players, with the case study being Serena Williams – who is now being referred to as “Mrs. Williams” by chair umpires, after getting married last year but not taking Alexis Ohanian’s last name.
“If you are a woman competing at Wimbledon, you are either a ‘Miss’ if you are single, or you are a ‘Mrs.’ if you are married,” Crouse says.
“But when you have the case of someone like Serena, who is recently married but has not taken her husband's name, they just call her ‘Mrs. Williams’ – so it makes it sound as if she is married to her father.”
This particular way of addressing players according to their marital status does not extend to men, however.
“If you are Roger Federer – [who is] married with four children – you are simply ‘Federer,’” Crouse says. “So, the married men do not have the courtesy title in front of their names.”
Is this just a case of the British being overly proper and fond of tradition, or something more malicious?
“I’ve heard the ‘tradition’ side of it as it relates to Augusta National,” says Crouse, who also covers golf for the Times. “I'm getting to the point where when I hear the word 'tradition,' it's feels like it's synonymous for sexism or prejudice. I just don’t buy it.”
She points to the fact that women at Wimbledon have had equal pay for 11 years now.
“They've been able to get past…the idea that women don't need money because they're married to men who make the money,” Crouse says. “They've gotten over that tradition, so maybe it's time for them to recognize women as their own people, and not who they are married to or…whether they're married or single.”
“It has the impression, at least, that you just see women as appendages of men,” she says.
Crouse says that in an over-600-page compendium about Wimbledon, you can find the detailed marital history of every semifinalist and finalist on the women’s side, both singles and doubles: “It has the date of when you were married, the place, and the full name of your husband,” Crouse says.
“That's how I found out that Serena's husband, Alexis Ohanian, his middle name is Kerry because this was listed in the Compendium. It is so crazy.
“None of this is done on the men's side,” she says, adding: “If you're going to have this kind of information and the women are going to be recognized in terms of their relationships, you should do the same for the men.”
WaPo’s Jesse Dougherty on college basketball corruption
Jesse Dougherty is a staff writer at Washington Post who covers college sports and University of Maryland athletics. He speaks with David about a developing story that now involves both of his beats.
An FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball has now led to more subpoenas for the University of Maryland, even after the University handed over records after being initially subpoenaed in March.
The new subpoenas request information regarding one unnamed former player at Maryland, the team’s assistant coach, and a recruit who ultimately attended Kansas.
“The company line from everyone is that ‘this happens everywhere.’ Of course, that's not entirely the case,” Dougherty says.
“There are over 300 schools in college basketball, so it can't be everywhere – but I don't think any school’s really in the clear, even if the trials are looming.”
Back in March, it was reported that Diamond Stone, a former Maryland player, was implicated in improper payments that were meant to steer him to sign with sports agency ASM after college.
“He was one of a long list of players that was sort of roped into this whole federal investigation,” Dougherty says.
When that happened, Maryland announced that they were conducting an internal investigation. “Given the fact that...Maryland was looking into some matters on their own front…it didn't seem like Maryland was totally in the clear of this kind of thing,” he says.
The March subpoena, in part, requested communication records between Maryland employees and Christian Dawkins. According to the Washington Post: “Dawkins is facing charges, including wire fraud, under accusations he arranged payments for the families of several top recruits to ensure they attended certain schools and eventually signed with preferred agents and financial advisers.”
The initial subpoenas were then followed up, less than two weeks ago, with more that request additional information regarding communications with another player.
So far, the University of Maryland’s reaction to the new subpoenas has been “pretty close to the chest,” Dougherty says, but “I can’t imagine Maryland’s feeling great about that.
“It's not something you want connected to your program. And [with] about a dozen now that have been implicated or sort of tied into this…morale can't be a hundred percent, that's for sure.”
Since there are few connections between Maryland and Silvio D'Souza, the recruit who ended up attending Kansas, Dougherty says it's “not totally surprising to see Maryland at least come up in a subpoena” – although, he and David agree that the case might not necessarily track back to Maryland.
“It could just be that they're trying to gather more information…I think Maryland’s roped in just by association in this,” Dougherty says. “They’re sort of tangentially connected to the Silvio case. And as you said, if there is some glass half-full, it could be that – that it's not actually going to crack down on [Maryland], but just sort of an information gathering for a trial that could unfold in October.”
Until then, “things are going to bubble to the surface, and it’s going to be a fun thing to follow and report on,” says Dougherty.
Listen to the entirety of both conversations below.