Western Kentucky Coach Rick Stansbury Addressed A Sideline Reporter As 'Honey' In A Way That Was Just As Innocent As It Was Wrong
Look, I'm not out to argue that giving unprovoked pet names to women that work in the male-dominated field of sports is an appropriate practice, especially in the year 2018. It typically comes off as a condescending and unprofessional way of reinforcing a patriarchal power structure.
However, since two years ago that last sentence might as well have been written in Swahili to a city-dweller like myself, can we give a one-time only pass to a good old Kentucky boy who is clearly still figuring out this whole social climate? I'm not saying we shouldn't mandate his attendance at a workplace etiquette seminar, but do we even need to take a second look at Western Kentucky's coach to come to the conclusion that he didn't know the error of his forcibly endearing ways?
Laura Britt reserves every right to have been made uncomfortable by being called 'honey' by a relative stranger while on the job, but there's a lot of irony if she was, because I'd damn near guarantee that the person she was interviewing considered it an act of southern hospitality. If it were Rick Pitino on the other end of that microphone then I would be singing a much different tune, but the regional ignorance of the Rick Stansbury's of the sports world isn't nearly as harmful as it may have been on election day. We've just got to trust the inexplicably lengthy process that is true equality, even if it - like almost everything else - takes a wee bit longer in the southern parts of Middle America.