The thing about being the first is you’re like the windshield of society.
Imagine the torrent of hideous, racist slurs Jackie Robinson had to endure. Or go on Twitter and enjoy them yourself by checking the replies on one of President Obama’s tweets.
It’s a different situation, but Kathryn Smith is also a first, which is a sad reminder that it’s 2016 and we still have lots of firsts to go.
Smith has become the first full-time female coach in history of the NFL. She has been working with Bills coach Rex Ryan for most of a decade.
Can you imagine who is not taking her being hired this week by the Buffalo Bills well? Men!
Well, not all of them. But one of her most vocal critics had a microphone and a radio show.
Kevin Kiley, co-host of Kiley and Carman in Cleveland, delivered a rant that featured all the most enjoyable qualities of someone giving voice to the dumb things many guys think.
There’s the bold opening: “Football is about physical advantage. [Women] are at a loss when it comes to the reference points of football.”
Followed by the sudden realization that you’ve just said something terrible: “This is not discrimination against women.”
Next, the awesome overcorrection: ”I don’t care if a woman is President, that’d be great. I don’t care if a woman runs a corporation, that’d be great.”
He’s even for a woman’s right to work!
And the beautiful attempt to premise his bias on his deep and abiding compassion and respect for women: “But don’t set people up to fail … She couldn’t possibly be qualified to the same level that a man could be qualified to do that.”
Smith is also putting a man out of work. Men! Two men. There’s the coach whose job she took and now possibly radio host Kevin Kiley.
But this is a serious issue. The idea that a woman knows more about football than a man has been known to reduce his sperm count and fantasy football rankings by 10-20 percent.
And in a sport that leaves many of its stars with lasting brain damage, obviously the last thing we need is women around trying new stuff. Even if you get to pay her 70 cents on the dollar.