First of all, I want to say thank you for all of the feedback and wonderful messages I have received since publishing yesterday. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m truly in awe of the endless support and engagement of this community.
However, I think it is important to point out that my intention was not to point fingers at any one individual. I wanted to make it clear that negligence doesn’t make anyone a bad person. While I stand by the message, I would have changed a few words to more clearly convey the message, and for that I am sorry.
That being said, I do not believe I was attacking anyone. I tried to be passive and apologetic. I tried to be diplomatic, and I tried to emphasize that negligence doesn’t make anyone a bad person. I thought I had successfully done so, but it’s clear to me now that I didn’t do as good of a job as I thought.
In all honesty, despite all of the kind and supportive messages I have received, the aftermath of my previous post has left me a little scared. I’m scared that I unintentionally caused a divide in our community, I’m scared that the focus is being shifted towards who it is at fault, rather than the larger issues at hand, and I’m scared that I have inspired a witch-hunt rather than a conversation.
I still stand by what I said in my prior post. Eric Schranz, although a great guy, is a leader in the community and by leaving, but more importantly not publicly acknowledging the women’s race (after having acknowledged the men’s) is setting the example for the community that it is OK to leave half of the field unspoken for. I wanted to address the example that was set. More importantly, I wanted to speak up because I think addressing experiences openly is the only way to achieve positive change in the lives of female athletes.
Today I find myself in a tough spot. I’ve unintentionally burned the bridge between myself and a public figure I look up to, (hell yeah I listen to his podcasts), and I’ve sort of become a public figure myself (SO FAR OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE). But instead of focusing on the issues, our focus and frustration is being redirected towards one person. I still believe the negligence that was displayed (regardless of who is responsible) on Saturday had to be accounted for, and I do not retract anything I said about that matter. However, it is unfair to put the weight of gender inequality within sports on one man’s shoulders. It’s great that my reflection of the experience has sparked passion, but let’s not channel that passion into hate.
I didn’t use names for a reason. The Who wasn’t important to me. Eric is a good guy, and what happened at Canyons is not representative of who he is as a person. In fact, it’s not even about Eric at all (!!!!!) and it’s unfortunate that the issues I was attempting to bring to light are being shadowed by name-calling and petty drama. I wanted to use my experience to expose how easily the scale is tipped in the favor of men’s athletics. As I wrote in my first post, I think this community never neglects the women’s race purposefully; I’d like to think we respect each other more than that. But the fact that it happened at an amazing race, and by a good guy should be even more of a reason to offer some constructive criticism. Let’s not let women athletes get overlooked anymore! That was my point. Let’s get back to it!
I hope that the Internet drama that has deflated the issues dies down soon, and my message was not completely lost in the chatter around the details. I also hope Eric and I can have a professional relationship, and gracefully resume our roles in the community. Perhaps in the future we can all participate in a constructive conversation about why it is so easy to make similar mistakes, and how we can work towards changing gender inequality within sports.
No one is at fault and everyone is at fault. Including myself! Why the eff haven’t I stood up for myself before?! Why have I not stood up for any of the other amazing women I’ve seen in similar circumstances?! It takes all of us to crest a movement and make a difference. Zooming in on one experience does much less good than looking towards how to better the next. Let’s zoom out.
After all this, I think a break from the Internet is in order. While my inbox is flooded with kind words, it is also filled with ones of hate. It devastates me that we have chosen to attack one another when being challenged. So, before I throw my smartphone into the ocean, and move into a cave I saw on top of a mountain this one time, (if you don’t already know where, you don’t need to know), I would like to challenge everyone who has been following this thread to respond with steps towards creating progressive changes, and in the face of critique to respond with consideration and kindness, instead of with acts of aggression and hate.
With that, I’ll leave you with a happy Friday! If you’ve been following this, you deserve a drink (or five). You must be exhausted.