Northwestern Womens Soccer team apologizes for hazing incident

In a statement released to the Northwestern community, the womens soccer team issued an apology for the hazing incident that brought them unwanted national attention.

To the members of the Northwestern community,

We, the Northwestern women’s soccer team, apologize for the negative attention, press, and controversy our alleged hazing incident has caused the University. We never foresaw that what began as a well-intentioned night of team unity and celebration would have such severe consequences, and we are embarrassed that our actions have become the source of such harsh criticism.

We fully accept responsibility for our behavior and understand the magnitude and severity of the current situation. As Northwestern varsity student-athletes, we take extreme pride in representing this school, and this incident does not reflect the values, integrity and qualities we seek to embody.

We hope this incident has not resulted in a breach of trust. From here, we will move in a positive direction toward reestablishing our relationship with the Northwestern community. Let this be a learning experience not only for the women’s soccer team, but for all Northwestern groups, organizations and teams who wish to uphold the honor and prestige of this university.

In addition, we extend our apologies to teammate Kelly Sitkowski, who had absolutely no role in the incident and was not present that evening.

– Members of the 2005-06 Northwestern University women’s soccer team

This is your standard apology statement but at least they didn’t pull the old “we apologize to anyone who might have been offended” non-apology most athletes issue.

It’s always amusing when you have to assure people that light bondage and girl on girl action doesn’t embody your values and qualities. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But the best part of the statement is the apology to the teammate that wasn’t there and still had to answer questions from her friends and family all the time. This is like Duke lacrosse apologizing to Devon Sherwood for being black.

[Daily Northwestern]: Women’s Soccer Team Releases Apology For Negative Attention


Germany welcomes World Cup fans… except some of the darker ones

“Gesicht zeigen”, the German anti-tourism anti-racism organization is warning black soccer fans to stay away from parts of the eastern German state of Brandenburg. The head of the organizational, Uwe-Karsten Heye, warned of potential racially motivated attacks.

There are small and medium-sized towns in Brandenburg and other places where I would recommend that nobody with a different skin color go.

They would possibly not leave there alive.

The Brandenburg tourism page boasts of the idyllic countryside, lakes, castles, and gardens, but no mention of not leaving there alive if you’re of a different skin tone. Oh, those clever marketing people!

[Reuters]: Black soccer fans told to avoid parts of Germany


More on the Northwestern Womens Soccer hazing

God bless the internet. runs a bunch of pictures of a hazing incident involving the womens soccer team at Northwestern and that’s how school administrators and parents find out about it. School officials have confirmed that the pics were indeed of the womens soccer team but could not ascertain when the hazing took place but thinks they are from last August because that’s what the website reported.

Northwestern AD Mark Murphy has suspended the team indefinitely and are looking to see if the allegations of hazing are true. Hmmm… if those pics aren’t of a hazing, we’d like to know what team activity involves being stripped to your underwear and having your hands tied behind your back. (Besides the Abu Ghraib softball league that is.)

Let us remind you that the investigation into the Duke lacrosse scandal by school officials came as a result of an overheard conversation. Do school administrators have any idea whats happening on their campuses? I’m sure they are shocked, shocked! to find that underage drinking occurs on their watch.

Finally, a note on the media. First, since they won’t ever paint outside the lines, we have to rely on good ole internet blogs to post actual photo goodness of the event. Second, the Chicago Tribune said, “ seeks to expose abuse of athletes.” Hah! We love badjocks… but precisely because their whole bread and butter is showing us what some stupid athlete has done today. The Chicago Trib seems to be under the impression that Badjocks is some sort of sports version of Amnesty International.

[Chicago Tribune]: NU probes alleged hazing
[Chicago Sun Times]: ‘Wild’ Cats? Soccer team benched
[Daily Northwestern]: NU team accused of hazing


More gay soccer hazing… this time the womens team

Somehow, soccer players either are the biggest hazers in college sports or they are the ones most likely to post their photos in a public forum. Bad Jocks once again has found more hazing photos, this time from the Northwestern University Women’s soccer team.

The freshman [were] not only blindfolded but with their hands tied behind their backs with athletic tape. On top of that, the girls are seen doing calisthenics and what appears to be forced drinking, performing skits that appear to require simulated sex acts, and then the losing skit team being forced to perform lap dances.

And then Bad Jocks decides to go the serious route and do some sort of dissertation on hazing in college sports. Hmmm… let us save you the time and PhD mumbo jumbo and break it down for you. A lot of organizations haze their incoming members. Most of it is humiliating, as is the requirement of hazing. However, sometimes, it’s really gay. And when it’s really gay is when people stand up and take notice. And because this is the womens team and not the mens team, more guys will take notice. Guys in underwear and tied together? Man, we’re horrified. Girls in underwear and kissing each other. Man, we’re … sweet. Hey look, we don’t make up the rules.

[Bad Jocks]: Photos from Northwestern Womens Soccer team hazing


Anti-Racism rules in effect for World Cup

FIFA: Racism is bad

Only in soccer (and the Ku Klux Klan softball league) do you have to remind players and fans that racism is bad. From fans making monkey noises and throwing bananas to yelling monkey at other players, soccer has the market cornered on blatant racism in professional sports. (Well, maybe Canadian hockey has a small market share.) It’s gotten so bad that FIFA has created new anti-racism rules. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that the rules are in effect next season and will also apply to the World Cup.

At the first sign (of racism) there will be a deduction of three points, then we are finished with the problems of discrimination.

We think he meant discrimination in soccer. If only it were that easy to deduct points in real life. Fans and officials can also be given fines for “any act or expression of a discriminatory and/or contemptuous nature.”

Interestingly enough, Blatter said it was not FIFA’s place to tackle the problems of prostitution — there are expected to be 60,000 prostitutes imported into Germany for the Finals. Minorities: protect; Women: who cares. Got it, FIFA.

We in FIFA, we are not responsible for the morality and the ethics of the whole population of the world. We should go against gambling. We should go against drugs. We should go against religion. We should go against weapons, and so on. This is not our duty, our duty is football.

[Sign On San Diego]: Blatter says anti-racism rules will apply at World Cup

[IPS news]: World Cup – a Magnet for Forced Prostitution?


Brazilian Soccer players charged with racism


We honestly had no idea that soccer was such a racist sport until RJ pointed us to this story on HBO Real Sports about fans making monkey noises and throwing bananas when a black player touches the ball. This mainly is because the only soccer we get is on Telemundo and we only watch it for the “goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal” calls.

It turns out that it’s not just unruly fans. Last year, a player was arrested in Brazil, where racism is a crime, for making racist remarks to an opponent. On Wednesday, prosecutors in Sao Paulo charged Juventure player Antonio Carlos for yelling “monkey” at a black player on the opposing team last month.

Could you imagine if this happened in the United States? You thought John Rocker got a lot of flack; if someone did this in a game at the college or pro level, there’d be a riot.

Carlos has already been suspended for 120 days and could face 1 – 3 years in jail if found guilty. Or he can hand out $10,000 flyers that say “We are all equal” and “Say no to racism.” Hmmmm… 10,000 flyers or a few years in brazilian “pound me in the ass” prison. Do they have Kinkos in Brazil?

[ESPN Soccernet]: Brazilian soccer player faces criminal racism charge


Why Americans hate soccer

With the World Cup coming up this summer, you’ll be reading a lot about it. And half those stories will be why it garners absolutely no interest in the United States.

Everyone knows that Soccer is the #1 sport in America for those 10 and under. However, after age 10, it ranks somewhere below broomball and above nose picking in youth sports. But no one can agree why. So instead of sports writers, we get essayists to tackle the subject.

The author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers, wrote an essay in an upcoming book, “The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup”, on why he thinks Americans will never get Futbol. His first reason is that we didn’t invent it and we like our sport home-grown.

The second and greatest, by far, obstacle to the popularity of the World Cup, and of professional soccer in general, is the element of diving. Americans may generally be arrogant, but there is one stance I stand behind, and that is the intense loathing of penalty-fakers. There are few examples of American sports where diving is part of the game, much less accepted as such.

But diving in soccer is a problem. It is essentially a combination of acting, lying, begging and cheating, an unappealing mix. The theatricality of diving is distasteful, as is the slow-motion way the chicanery unfolds… American sports are, for better or worse, built upon transparency, or the appearance of transparency, and on the grind-it-out work ethic.

In my opinion, the real reason that everyone abandons soccer is that no one wants to be a loser. Eggers touches upon it in his essay but it’s really Chuck Klosterman who gets it right. Soccer is so popular for kids because they are forced to play it. Parents want their kids to do some physical activity and soccer is the easiest way to accomplish that.

The beauty of soccer for very young people is that, to create a simulacrum of the game, it requires very little skill. No other sport can bear such incompetence. With soccer, 22 kids can be running around, most of them aimlessly, or picking weeds by the sidelines, or crying for no apparent reason, and yet the game can have the general appearance of an actual soccer match. If there are three or four co-ordinated kids among the 22 flailing bodies, there will actually be dribbling, a few legal throw-ins, and a couple times when the ball stretches the back of the net. It will be soccer, more or less.

So basically, if you have even an inkling of athletic ability, you’ll look around by age 11 and see how much of a loser the rest of your teammates are. (Coincidentally, this is the same time that parents of the hopelessly uncoordinated just give up.) Since no one wants to be associated with a sport full of losers, these athletic kids gravitate to cooler sports like baseball, basketball and football. Sure, some kids stick it out and we have good soccer programs in prep schools and colleges but most just can’t be bothered. Why play a sport no one will watch on TV when you can imitate the plays you see on Sportscenter.

Until we get a “Tiger Woods” of soccer, it’ll always take a backseat in the United States, even to hockey.

[The Observer]: ‘American sports are played with the hands. Using your feet is for commies’
[Fox Sports]: Even soccer fans are sick of diving.


Googling Ashley Cole

Nobody really knows how Google truly works. It’s magic. You just type in a phrase and sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you get something really um… wrong. Sure, people know how to manipulate google search results (try searching for failure) but the way the algorithm works is too complicated for us morons.

Well, Ashley Cole, a soccer player in England, and his lawyers are not happy with Google because when you search for Ashley Cole, you get “See results for: Ashley Cole gay”. Here’s what happened. A British tabloid ran a story about gay sex involving some Premiership players but didn’t name anyone. Somehow, everyone thought Ashley Cole was involved so they all kept googling “Ashley Cole gay”. According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, results “sometimes shows related search queries based on what other users have been asking for.”

The best part about this is that because his lawyers are inquiring into it, more and more stories are hitting the web that involve the words “Ashley Cole” and “gay”. Bingo, more search results. It only gets worse from here on out for Ashley, but it’s highly amusing for us. To be fair though, Cole’s fiancee, Cheryl Tweedy, is smokin’.

[Forbes]: Schmidt’s Google Queried By Soccer Star’s Lawyers


Major League Soccer hits an all time low

We thought having to change the name of the Houston 1836 about two days into its existence was bad but the New York/New Jersey Metrostars did them one better by selling out completely.

Ladies and gentlement, your MLS soccer team — Red Bull New York. For over $100 million, you too can buy a crappy soccer team and change the team name to the most awkward one in sports. It could be worse, they could play in Dish, Texas.

You know, when MLS was first announced, I was really excited. It was right after the US National team started to be respectable in international play and they were getting a lot of press. Unfortunately, stunts like this don’t make me want to watch more soccer. Say what you want about the NHL’s strike last year, at least their history prevents them from ever having say, the St. Louis Budweisers. I hope.

[NY Times]: Red Bull Is New Owner, and Name, of MetroStars


Romanian Soccer player sold for meat

You thought trading Al Michaels for a cartoon character was weird. A team in Romania sold a player for 15 kilograms of meat. For those of you who are metrically impaired, that’s about 33 pounds of meat, not even enough to feed Gilbert Brown for one day.

The best part about the story is that one of the players on the team that sold the meat decided to leave the team to find work in Spain.

We are upset because we lost twice — firstly because we lost a good player and secondly because we lost our team’s food for a whole week.

I don’t even know what to say about this. The only way this story could get better is if the team plane crashed and they had to eat the player that was traded for the meat.

[ESPN]: Romanian player sold for a chunk of meat