To the Alabama football player who was shocked that female sportswriters were coming into the locker room after the game: It’s 2018, I can handle myself and you can take your chauvinism elsewhere.
— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) January 2, 2018
This is an open letter to reporter Chantel Jennings on behalf of Alabama Nation in response to her (sub) tweeting at an Alabama Football Player
Dear Mrs. Jennings –
I saw your subtweet shaming an Alabama football player who was shocked to find women in the locker room after a game. It got a lot of retweets. You’re cool.
If he knew you had the balls to paint yourself as a victim in a situation where adults are pushing each other for access to half naked teenagers he might not have taken issue with you being a woman.
You had a right to be there – but that doesn’t make your actions right. This is the first time some of these players have been to a bowl game. The rules of the game are the same but everything else is different – the stadium, the atmosphere – and the access reporters have to players.
You attributed this player’s shock to chauvinism and, to your credit, followed the established grievance process to file a formal complaint.
Haha just kidding. You subtweet shamed a teenager in front of 32,000 followers like a middle school mean girl because apparently you believe that’s how professional adults who can handle themselves, handle themselves. If it helps, no one is shocked that you’re offended. That’s kind of your thing. Let’s talk about it anyway.
We want players to be dominant. We cheer their savagery. We reward their ferocity. We see them as giants – explosive offensive and defensive weapons and all of them strong. But they’re not.
They’re kids. They are 18, 19 and 20 year old kids. They’re huge kids. They’re tough kids. They’re hard working, athletic and talented kids – but they are kids. They may tower over most men but inside they are still learning how to be one.
Some of them will play on Sundays and make millions of dollars. Most won’t. Most of them have moms and dads and support outside of that locker room. Some don’t. Some of them look at coaches who teach them how to ball as second fathers. Some of them never had a first to teach them anything. You may have access to the locker room, Mrs. Jennings, but it’s plain you don’t know a damn thing about it – and that’s not because you’re a woman.
That’s because you’re small. You can’t see past your own pettiness. You presume self importance in a place of sacrifice. You howl about perceived slights in a place where people bleed for each other. I’ll give you a hint. It’s not about you.
Maybe this kid was out of line. Maybe a staffer at practice told him about reporters being in the locker room after the game but he was too distracted by the pressure of performing on the biggest stage of his entire life to pay attention to anything except the game faces on his team mates that gave him courage.
Maybe he was taught modesty. Maybe it was beaten into him. Maybe he was sexually abused. Maybe this kid put his big bad game face back on when the locker room where he felt safe was invaded by strangers he didn’t trust.
Maybe you’re right. Maybe it was shock. Maybe it was chauvinism. Maybe a kid just made a mistake. Maybe the adult in the situation should act like one.
Maybe we’ll never know the truth but one thing is for certain, Mrs. Jennings. You don’t know the facts and that makes your actions not only that of a poor adult but also a bad reporter – one who clearly cannot handle herself.
Note: This open letter was originally published on our Facebook page and shared ~8,000 times by Alabama Nation