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“Bullies” and different standards

Late in the Tennessee-Tennessee Martin game that just ended a short time ago, ESPN commentator Brooke Weisbrod made a remark that has stirred some controversy. Vol forward Glory Johnson spun around under the basket to make a shot, and before she did so, she elbowed her defender to gain some position. Weisbrod called Johnson “a bully” for the move. And as ESPN rewound the tape to show the moment again, Weisbrod added, “that’s just not necessary.”

It didn’t look like much to me – a slight jab to get room. (I’ve seen so much worse in my decades of watching hoops.) But neither did Johnson’s throwing-of-the-ball during the Feb. 13 game against Kentucky that earned her a controversial technical foul.

Johnson is a very aggressive player who is not afraid to get in there and bang. I had to wonder today, would Weisbrod have said anything if Johnson were a male? Because I see men’s basketball players making similar moves all the time.

Is Johnson a “bully,” or simply a take-no-prisoners player?

Are female basketball players who play aggressively, judged?

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