A Female Fan’s Perspective on the Buc’s RED Movement

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By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s new women’s movement “RED”. I am also willing to bet that what you’ve heard wasn’t favorable. Women everywhere are speaking out about how tone deaf the Buc’s PR department is for marketing something like this. For sending women back to the kitchen with some game day recipes and Buc’s fashion merchandise. To pack all female fans into perfect pink boxes. Personally, I think those women raising such an outcry are just as tone deaf. Tone deaf to the need for more communities for the advancement of females in the sports world.

 

Women seem to be their own worst enemies. Every day you hear about body shaming, mommy bashing, and slandering, but it’s not men wielding the hammer of these offenses, more often it’s women.  Women are women’s worst critics, and in this instance I believe that it’s women who are standing in the way of more women being more involved in the game.

 

The RED movement offers a variety of offerings that no fan (man or woman) would typically have access to. Things like meeting the General Manger, getting introduced to former Buccaneers players, seeing what goes on behind the scenes on game day. There are men and women that would kill for an opportunity like that, and The Buccaneers are allowing a select group that opportunity. I personally am a huge Steelers fan. I would leap at the chance to meet Jerome Bettis, or hear Hines Ward give examples on the inner workings of preparing for game day. Getting unprecedented access like this is a luxury that that I would never have thought would be afforded to me. The only thing I need for my golden ticket? Female reproductive organs, and a few free hours in the day.

 

And this program isn’t a one day thing. The RED movement lasts the entire season. With events and socializing events set up for Tampa Bay female fans. Events set up to facilitate year round educational experiences and to create a friendly community where women can come together to learn and share. There’s even something called the RED’s lifestyle lounge. Now I don’t know about you but I love a good lounge. I’m picturing tasty beverages and comfy chairs in favorable lighting…what’s not to love?

 

Everything sounds pretty good so far right? So what has women in a tizzy? Well, it’s the fact that among these other amazing offerings the program also plans to offer tips on things such as incorporating Buccaneer pride in  “home entertaining”, “game day style tips”, and “creative culinary creations”.  Yes it seems that amongst all those football bells and whistles Buc’s PR people thought women might be interested in cooking and fashion advice as well.

 

Let me ask you a question. To love football, to be a die hard fan, to bleed your team colors, do you have to stop liking things you already like? I mean, I love football. I have a passion for it, but I also love a half off rack and baking. I wouldn’t mind learning a new recipe or two, and if I get some sort of discount on a new jersey from my favorite team sign me up. I get it. Women are more that their culinary skills and their love of Target. But the thing is, a lot of women like those sorts of things. Women who love sports, love those sorts of things. If you’re a female fan and those sorts of things don’t appeal to you, that’s okay too! Go for all the cool football stuff they have to offer, or if you none of these things interest you, don’t go at all.

 

See here’s the thing. Guys have an edge. Guys grow up with other guys in their ears, feeding them game highlights, discussing their favorite players, comparing teams. Women don’t have that. Women really have to work at it. I only have one or two girls personally that I can “talk shop” with, and that’s because I have weeded them out of the masses. Women just don’t have a lot of female friendly sport communities. Places where they can learn more about the game, share ideas, grow. The Buccaneers are trying to provide that. Women who hear all this negativity are going to be less likely to participate in this event and others like it in the future; Women who may be searching for exactly what I just described, a community. Just because it’s not perfect to you personally, doesn’t mean it isn’t the perfect opportunity to learn more about the game, and your fellow female fans.

 

I know this piece is a little ranty, but it’s because this message is so important to me. I was so intimidated when I decided that I wanted to get serious about fantasy football. There are guys out there who make you feel like an idiot for not knowing a starting line up. Guys, who aren’t going to offer a lot of advice to a football novice that just wants to learn a little more about the game. Not all guys are like this for sure. I happened to have ended up with a great group of guys in my main league, but that doesn’t change how I felt starting out. It’s typically men that teach their brethren about the game. It’s men that are giving other men an edge. We women have to shoulder that mantle of creating a female friendly environment for our sisters. I infiltrated the inner sanctums of guy talk pretty early in life, but for those starting out it’s hard. Knocking down opportunities for these women, because we don’t feel like recipes or fashion tips should be included, is counter productive.

 

Everyday female involvement is growing. More and more women are getting involved in the sports world, and that’s amazing. Women like Michelle Beadle, and Stephania Bell are well respected sports reporters. Sarah Thomas and Jen Welter are breaking boundaries on the field as the first female NFL referee and coach. It is amazing to watch and to be a part of. But we all start somewhere. It’s important that we encourage all women who are interested in learning more about the game, at every level. Even if that includes tailgating tips, and fashion advice.

 

To learn more about the RED experience check out this site:

 

http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/Bucs-Introduce-RED-Womens-Movement/e0b295bd-ad98-4068-b6a3-e35f079c18fa

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Women and Sports: An Opinion on the new RED Movement | footballfemme

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