Just say no to women in men's sports

Women's pro soccer star Carli Lloyd has shown she can kick a football 55 yards thru the uprights, and NFL teams have lined up to make offers for her services.  Interesting, and worth seeing on the practice field or maybe an exhibition game, but not something we want to encourage in pro sports.

The issue with women in men's leagues is that men by nature hold back against women.  You may not recognize it or even see it, but guys just can't make themselves go as all out against a woman as another guy.  Men who have played against women in any sport acknowledge this reality.  They're willing to let a gal fill in for pickup games and in just-for-fun contests, but not for real competition.

John McEnroe is one of the few big-time pros who speaks honestly to this issue.  He exaggerates only somewhat when he says Serena Williams might rank as high as 700 on the men's tennis circuit.  As good as she is, Serena does not have the power and quickness a professional male player at the highest levels would have.

Predictably, McEnroe has come under nasty criticism for giving his honest opinion on this question.  The P.C. answer would be that Serena's the greatest tennis player of all times and places, regardless of sex, and that Johnny Mac's attitude is toxically masculine.  Baloney.  Men in all sports can attest to it.

You can play harder against this woman than that one, and you can go all out on the skills aspects of the competition, but the physical beating that one man puts on another under the basket, for example, or rushing the kicker, or in the pushing and shoving of soccer, is what I'm talking about, not to mention the hue and cry over a man's hands in the pushing and shoving.

Holding back from worry about hurting a woman, or the natural sense of unfairness in a man against a woman, or lifetime indoctrination that a man never hits or shoves or otherwise physically abuses a woman, or ungentlemanly touching in the intensity of competition — all that changes the game.  Worse, it leads to injury.

Girls against boys may work as a novelty, but it has no place in serious sports.