Terry Crews on Manhood and Feminism

I’m sure folks know of Terry Crews, if not by name than by face, as he’s been in a string of mainstream movies (Bridesmaids, Get Smart) and TV shows (Everybody Hates Chris, Arrested Development, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) over the last decade. Prior to becoming an actor, Crews was a defensive end/linebacker for a bunch of NFL teams – his NFL career lasted 5 years.

In December 2014, Crews was a guest on Q where he spoke about masculinity, gender, race, professional sports and family. It’s a fabulous interview because Crews is very open and honest about his personal struggles with manhood. He talks at length about how following social norms led him to be a destructive force in his own life and the lives of his family.

Crews also published a book on this topic, Manhood: How To Be A Better Man – Or Just Live With One, which is part memoir, part philosophy/self-help. I find it super cool that he is doing this work … it’s important.

Tom Brady Cannot Stop

Last week, in advance of Super Bowl XLIX, the New York Times published “Tom Brady Cannot Stop”. Written by Mark Leibovich, who typically covers politics, the piece was initially conceived four years ago, but only recently was given the green light by Brady’s long-time agent Donald Yee.

I have often wondered what makes Tom Brady so likeable and successful. Sure he’s good looking, if you like his looks, and yes, he is a talented record-shattering quarter-back in the NFL, as others are and have been. So given that – what makes him such a star? The NY Times piece illuminates my wondering, but also leaves me with more questions, among them: who is Tom Brady? Which Cathal Kelly from the Globe and Mail insightfully wrote about just a few days ago.

I watched Superbowl XLIX last night and thought it was a great match-up with amazing catches and an intense final quarter. But then, with under 30 seconds to go, a fight broke out between the Patriots and Seahawks, and I was reminded of why the NFL has such a negative reputation.

For some Canadians, especially those whose fandom lies with soccer, basketball or hockey – the hype around American football is something we just don’t understand, myself included. However, the athleticism and commitment of some of these athletes, like Brady, is incredible. Super Bowl XLIX was a fun ending to an otherwise awful NFL season.

The Out Field: Gay Athletes Talk About Pro Sports

Came across this video today that was put together by People Magazine. Athletes featured (in order of appearance): Michael Sam (Gridiron Football), Wade Davis II (Gridiron Football), Billy Bean (Baseball), Brittney Griner (Basketball), Lianne Sanderson (Soccer), and Joanna Lohman (Soccer).

The video was published in May 2014, on the heels of Michael Sam‘s historic draft into the NFL by the St. Louis Rams. Since then, Sam has been released by the Rams and is currently on the practice squad for the Dallas Cowboys. Wade Davis II is the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, Billy Bean retired from baseball in 1995 and in July 2014 was hired by the MLB as an ambassador for inclusion, Brittney Griner was the #1 WBNA Draft Pick in 2013 and recently won the 2014 WNBA Championship with the Phoenix Mercury, and Lianne Sanderson and Joanna Lohman both play professional soccer in the National Women’s Soccer League for the Boston Breakers (and are a couple!). They founded JoLi Academy and are a part of the GO! Athletes Network.