Sports, Swimsuits & Sexism

It seems almost every news, sports and variety program this week has made reference to Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue.  It is a mystery to me how that respected sports publication ever decided to initiate this tradition; obviously, marketing had a great deal to do with that decision but some of us find the hoopla to be disturbing on a variety of levels.

One need not be a prude to be taken aback by the nature of the photos which depict, young, attractive, busty women in a variety of seductive poses; since beach volleyball is the only American sport that comes close to that attire, one might ask what this Playboy format has to do with sports coverage.  Sure, the pages provide free decor for bar rooms, gas stations and the closet doors of teenage boys but are we asked to respect Sport's Illustrated for this overt sexism?

In an era when at least a third of college women experience some form of sexual abuse and college male athletes (not to mention military academy cadets) are regularly suspended for such activity, the glorification of sexism by a major American sports magazine is, in my opinion, both insensitive and inappropriate.