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Does The Color Pink Make You Sexist?

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When I was younger and would go to another school for basketball games, it was common for us to be assigned to the women’s locker room. Most high schools didn’t have a visitor’s locker room so no one thought anything of the more feminine decor. Of course, this is not the case at the college level and, apparently, Iowa’s choice of color for their visiting team’s locker room is causing some issues.

For decades, visiting football teams playing at Kinnick Stadium have dressed and showered in the pink locker room. The tradition was started by former Iowa coach Hayden Fry, a psychology major who said pink had a calming and passive effect on people.

As part of the stadium’s two-year, $88 million makeover, athletic officials took the former coach’s interior decorating ideas to another level, splashing pink across the brick walls, shower floors and installing pink metal lockers, carpeting, sinks, showers and urinals.

The most amazing thing about this is that it is not the visiting teams complaining. Instead, it is a visiting law professor who has a problem with the pink room. She has now recruited current Iowa employees and students to her cause of petitioning for a remodeling of the facilities once again.

It isn’t as if the Iowa football team doesn’t have its own issues on the field right now. A preseason pick by many to win the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes dropped their conference opener to Ohio State, and looked bad doing it. An outside pick to potentially break into the National Title game at the Rose Bowl, all chances of that ended when Iowa was blown out by the Cyclones of Iowa State. Now, facing an uphill battle all around, they have an outside distraction to deal with.

Granted, this is not the worst off the field battle that they could have. No player is being arrested or being shot at. No player is skipping class, that we know of. As of yet, there are no recruiting violations coming to light. Instead, it is just some students with a little too much time on their hands.

Notice that none of these accusations came out last year when the Hawkeyes ended up tying for the Big Ten championship after a great 10-2 season. You have to wonder if this would be an issue if the team were 4-0 right now and tied for the Big Ten lead. I bet a lot of these students would be keeping their mouths shut if that were the case.

Because, you know, everyone loves a champion.

Ben Miraski writes about college football and basketball on his site, MRISports.com.


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About Ben Miraski

  • That’s dirty pool. I believe that color has a profound effect on people. I’m an artist and I have ended up going all over to get this shade of this and this shade of that. My clothes are the same.

    If I want to get guys to do things for me, I used to wear a feminine pink suit I have. It worked.

  • Cerulean, there’s a reason they call it “home field advantage.”

  • I think this is a case of outrage looking for a place to happen. I saw a bumper sticker recently: “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention.”

    True? Maybe. I guess I don’t want to be that angry that often (although listening to my podcast might make you question that statement).

    I still think someone is trying to turn a non-issue into an issue to score points, sell books, self-promote, or some such thing.

    I am more disappointed in the Black and Gold than I am the pink. I really thought Iowa was going to win some games this year.

    Looking on the bright [pink] side: Drew Tate won’t get the Chuck Long/Brad Banks Heisman shaft.

  • And Cerulean’s comment is just a mental note to all us guys to run when we see her in a pink suit.

    Unless you like doing things for women.

  • Ben, I think I am more surprised this didn’t break when Iowa was winning. It is much easier to get your name in the paper when you can attach yourself of your controversy to something already in the news.

  • chris

    pink definitely has an effect on athletes — usually a bad one. check my article talking about it