GIFs show Lee Hoy an MMA fighter with visual impairment training and fighting. Captions: 1 -Before the fight begins, it’s just an outline, a blurry mess. That’s what vision impairment is. 2 - I got picked on at school. They would say, “How can you fight if you can’t see?” 3 - Even to this day I’ll be thinking, “How can I fight if I can’t see?” Always repeating in my head. Over and over. 4 - Because of the way my eyes are affected, I don’t see everything coming that they throw. 5 - It’s basically just a guess game. 6 - I might get a pattern. 7 - A cold fear goes down your whole spine, but then I realize all of it’s in your head. 8 - Something snaps and I say you know what, no more. 9 - 'How can you fight if you can't see?'
Being a chronically ill/disabled athlete is a weird thing.
As someone with a chronic illness (Well, let’s be real here, multiple chronic illnesses as well as disabilities aside from chronic illness too), being physically active is hard. In the world of disability, disabled athletes generally aren’t disabled by disabilities that are chronic in nature. This is in large part because of the guidelines for which disabilities make someone eligible to participate in competitive adaptive sports. So, in order to qualify for something like the para pan-am games, the disabilities that one can have are things like missing a limb through amputation or congenitally, being blind, people experiencing paralysis, having an intellectual disability, etc. All of those things are important. It is hugely important that sport find a place for these people.
What that doesn’t account for though is the large numbers of disabled people who don’t fit into those categories. It doesn’t make room for people whose disabilities are cyclical or variable. Those who might be able to do 20 push ups one day, but next week not be able to get out of bed. Those who have periods of extreme fatigue. Those for whom a 5 minute walk around the block is equivalent to a marathon not due to their level of fitness, but due to how their body interacts with the process. Or those who are able to participate in physical activity only if they exclude any other optional activity from their lives. For those of us, trying to figure out where you fit in the world of physical activity and sport can be a really confusing and frustrating experience.
Fitspo can be generally described as messages, quotes and images intended to inspire someone to continue making progress on a journey to physical fitness, that often includes “healthy” eating and regular physical activity. These messages can range from being body positive and inclusive to those of all body shapes and sizes, to messages that have often been criticized as promoting disordered eating and compulsive exercising behaviours.
Seeing Fitspo as a disabled, chronically ill, aerialist is a weird mixture of motivating and shaming for me. Sometimes when I see fitspo I feel motivated. I actually do my conditioning and stretching exercises at home. I make a renewed commitment to working on the core and upper body strength that is holding me back. I look at my fitbit stats and make plans to make sure that I hit my step and other goals more often. Other times, or sometimes even simultaneously it is shaming. My circus training schedule aims for me to be training on apparatuses 3 days a week (Not counting conditioning or cadio). Most weeks if I manage to make it to class one day a week we’re doing good, two days a week is incredible, and three days a week, wow… I don’t know what higher power is looking favourably at me in that moment, but if you could tell me what to do so that I keep myself in their favour I’d appreciate it. That’s in part why I take so many classes though, I know I won’t be able to hit all of them, so if I aim for having multiple opportunities during the week to go, there is a better chance that I’ll at least manage to hit one of them. In order to do that though, there are some pretty big sacrifices that need to be made.
One of the biggest sacrifices that gets made so that I can be active is my diet. Sure, a mostly veggie-based, protein heavy “healthy” diet, would be ideal, but it just isn’t going to happen. Most days of the week between the meds I take and everything that I do, if I actually eat at all we’re doing well. When I come home from circus and still have to make dinner, putting chicken nuggets or a piece of fish into the toaster over is about as exciting as it gets. It means that I pick going out and doing something over going grocery shopping regularly and having fresh fruits and veggies in my fridge. It means that when I do go shopping, I know that I might have 30 minutes left of being able to stand up energy left for the rest of the night when I get home from circus, so dinner has to be something that requires 5 minutes or less of that standing up time. Fast food drive throughs and pick ups generally happen at least once a week too. In an ideal world, sure maybe I’d be able to come home and make that low carb squash “pasta” dish, but in my world, it isn’t going to happen.
The other sacrifice that I make is my social life. While the others that I train with might be able to have energy to go to class, chase the kids around, make dinner, go out with friends after, I don’t. If I have class that evening, I’m going home and to bed. I might go out for dinner because you have to eat, and then I don’t have to make it myself, but that’s pretty much the limit of my energy. One of the reasons why this is such a sacrifice is because the gym isn’t a great place to meet other chronically ill people. Especially not when you are training in something like circus. So, the social relationships that I get to develop in that space are limited to people who often exude these fitspo personalities that fill me with this combination of motivation and shame. While I might be in awe that you train circus four days a week, perform locally, and are taking pole dancing classes and training for your third marathon, while eating a low carb high fat diet, when I talk about how I haven’t been to circus class in three weeks because I was in the hospital for a week and then spent the next two weeks barely getting out of bed, but I missed it like hell the whole time and I’m happy to be back, I just get a blank stare in return telling me that I’ve broken one of the unwritten social rules that I don’t understand again. My social peers in this space are people who experience my existence and realities as vastly uncomfortable. So, making the choice to make circus and physical activity my social priority and energy priority, while being mostly great for my body and my relationship with my body, it isn’t so great for my relationships with my peers or my social needs.
The final sacrifice that does need to be talked about too is pain. As someone with chronic illnesses pain is just a part of life for me. It is there, and it’s there no matter what I do. It is however important to mention that training, of any kind, comes with pain as well. One of the fitspo messages about circus is “You know you are a circus performer when you wake up in pain every morning”. I think it’s really important that chronically ill people are fully informed that training regularly at the right level for you (Whether it’s walking around the block, or hanging off a hoop by bits that most people generally don’t use to support their weight) is going to cause you pain, and be allowed to make the informed choice about whether an increase in their pain is something that they can handle. Especially if their ability to participate in this activity is going to be interrupted and they are going to have to build up their tolerance to it again and again. I can’t count the number of times I’ve built up and lost my callouses over the past year. Or a trick finally stopped bruising and I had to take a few weeks off, and it goes right back to bruising. In the days after I train I move more stiffly, and every movement hurts. I wake up in pain and go to bed in pain, and that is on top of what I am experiencing because of my illnesses. Sometimes I have to use my pain management protocols for my illness pains to manage my training pains.
So, what I’d like to see are messages for all of us as athletes. I’d like to see messages that promote balance and self-care. I’d like to see messages that promote forgiveness, and affirm that there is no right path to getting to where you want to be. That it’s okay if your version of fitness is walking the dog to the end of the block and back when really you just want to let him out into the yard to pee. That it’s okay if you can’t get out of bed sometimes, or even most of the time. To be motivated to find ways to do the things that you want to do. By which I mean, figuring out what is physically possible for you without overdoing it, and engaging in activities that you enjoy. Even if what is physically possible in that moment is just sitting up assisted for a few minutes. I think that being able to see yourself as an athlete is such an amazing thing for disabled people, it’s such a change in perspective. Being able to look at a body that often doesn’t work, and be proud of what it is capable of doing is a hugely powerful thing. It’s just a matter of the athletic world being able to open up and accept our bodies as athletic too.
this site can be so anti recovery it’s exhausting to watch. physical recovery as well as mental.
i see so many blogs that are just people endlessly whining about their health issues - i’ve got no problem with that, we all need somewhere safe to vent. what bothers me is that, with a couple of exceptions, these sorts of blogs seem to be damned near the entirety of Chronic Illness Tumblr.
no-one’s celebrating disabled athletes at the Paralympics. no-one’s challenging ableist legislation. no-one’s discussing real, workable strategies to help us navigate life.
like i’m not saying that yoga and kale is going to cure your lymphoma. it’s been nearly 10 months of really hard work and i’m not even in remission.
anecdotally speaking, i had all the signs and symptoms of POTS, and CFS/ME for a long time before and after my health was at its worst. if my doctor had just slapped a label on it i probably would have accepted that this is how life is now and I’d be in exactly the same position nearly a year later. instead, although i’m far from healthy, i’m in a really good place, and it makes me so frustrated and sad that other people are missing out on that.
How does football contribute to economic subjugation of the poor? I'm seriously not trying to start trouble; just genuinely curious.
I’ll try to give a short answer: football culture romanticizes poor working class conditions without doing anything to uplift those communities. They still charge 60+ dollars per sweatshirt and ticket prices just keep skyrocketing, especially as they build new and improved stadiums in richer and less accessible areas, often miles or even hours away from city centers with absolutely no public transportation. For example, in the last couple of years they moved the San Francisco 49ers to a new stadium in Santa Clara which is beautiful, but at least an hour drive out of the city, and nearly impossible to reach without a car. When they moved, they nearly tripled all of the season ticket prices - a family friend of mine who’s had season tickets passed down through their family for generations had to give them up, because they were told they had to pay 40k to keep them. So on one hand, the culture of football says it’s for the working class and meant to appeal/be a huge part of the way that working class people relax and spend their time, on the other hand the realities of the sport are mostly out of reach for them.
Football has long be seen as a way out of poverty; if you grow up in poor working class conditions, you can work your way out of it via a football scholarship. This is wildly misleading. While this does happen for some people, only a small number of people get scholarships for college football, and even fewer (an astronomically small number of the men who play football across the country) go to the NFL. This simply isn’t a viable option. Even worse, it promotes the idea that there’s an easy way out of poverty - a method which completely excludes women, people with disabilities, boys who aren’t athletic, and pretty much everyone else. For decades, the media has used football as this fail safe way of getting out of your hometown; in reality, that rarely ever happens.
And yes, that’s true of most sports. The numbers of kids who play basketball that go to the NBA is so small, it’s heartbreaking. But while basketball is more accessible - you can at least practice in most public parks - football requires funding, usually a school space, uniforms, crowds, cheerleaders, etc. And worse, it’s all tied up with this emphasis on physical dominance, especially over women (no other sport is so intrinsically connected to domestic abuse, if you ask me). Kids are getting hurt trying to earn their way through football, increasingly more and more, until comparisons between the sport and baseball or basketball have become inappropriate, and it’d be better to think about boxing instead.
I could talk about this more and I don’t know if that’s what Rachel Bloom was talking about in her show, but that’s some of my thoughts. Hope this helps!
There’s some definite angst below, writing it even broke my heart. Enjoy! -Admin Mom
Akaashi stared at the phone in his hands. Its screen was illuminated, the quiet vibrations indicating that someone was calling. He didn’t even have to look at the number. He knew who it was. But he didn’t answer it right away. He didn’t want to. Maybe he could pretend he wasn’t up. Maybe he could act like he wasn’t losing sleep over this. Like he hadn’t been sitting awake, leaned back against the headboard, just waiting for this call to come in.
A futile effort if there ever was one.
He was already on his feet and climbing out of bed as he tapped the answer button and pressed the phone to his ear. The voice on the other end was the same as always, and he tried not to listen to the obvious empathy in the tone. This would’ve been so much easier if he couldn’t hear that.
“I’ll be right there,” he sighed.
It wasn’t a long drive from the apartment to the police station. This late at night, the roads were practically empty, and the only cars in the parking lot had sirens attached. Not many people visiting with police at two in the morning. As he made his way inside, the officer at the front desk glanced up at him. “Quick as usual,” he remarked as he stood up, greeting Akaashi with a nod.
“What’s the damage this time?” Akaashi asked without preamble. He was already reaching for his wallet.
The officer just shook his head as he motioned for Akaashi to follow him to the back. “No property damage tonight,” he said. “Just drunk. We showed up before he got too rowdy.”
Akaashi didn’t say anything as he followed the officer through the main lobby, past the break room where a few others were milling about. He knew the way they were all looking at him, as though they felt sorry for him. They would whisper about him once he was out of earshot. The poor guy, always dragged out of bed in the middle of the night for this, why did he even put up with it.
He hated all of them.
At the very back of the station was the area with the holding cells. They passed a few empty ones—it was only Monday night after all, the weekend crowd had been emptied out that morning. Near the end, there was a woman who was mumbling to herself, probably strung out on something. And then, the last cell…
“Koutarou,” Akaashi murmured as he approached the bars.
Bokuto’s head was lolling to the side, but as his unfocused gaze fell on Akaashi, a lopsided grin pulled at his lips. “Keijiiiiii, wha’re you doin’ here?” he slurred.
“I’m here for you,” Akaashi replied.
“Whaaaaaaaaat? Really?” Bokuto lurched to his feet, lost his balance, and fell forward into the bars, striking the iron with a metallic clang.
The sound seemed to reverberate through Akaashi’s entire body, sending a pang of guilt right to his chest. He fought the urge to throw up as the guard opened the door to Bokuto’s right. “I don’t want to see you in here again for a while, alright Bo?” the officer said, hooking under Bokuto’s arm to help him straighten up.
Bokuto recoiled, wrenching his arm away from the officer and almost falling in the process. Forgetting his sudden wave of nausea, Akaashi stepped into the cell and grabbed Bokuto’s arm before he could go down. “I’ve got him.”
“Sorry, sorry, I always forget,” the officer said as he headed back the way they came.
Instead of pulling back, Bokuto sagged his weight against Akaashi. Like it was too much of an effort to hold himself up anymore. Maybe it really was. “Keiji, can we go home?” he mumbled.
“Yes… Let’s go home.”
Akaashi didn’t look around him as he walked Bokuto out of the holding area and across the lobby. The officer wished them a good night and held the front door open for Akaashi. A different farewell may have been more appropriate, one the officer never actually said. In the end though, it didn’t matter. Akaashi always heard it anyway. Even if no one said it out loud, it was always there, like a voice on the wind.
See you soon.
It usually felt like a shorter drive back to the apartment than it did to the station. Maybe that was because of Bokuto’s off-key singing, or his loud professions of love for Akaashi at every stoplight. By the time they made it through the front door of the apartment, Bokuto was asking Akaashi to marry him.
“You know they won’t let us get married in Japan,” Akaashi said as he stepped out of his own shoes, then leaned forward to help Bokuto out of his.
“D’you think you’d marry me if they would though?” Bokuto asked.
“Yes,” Akaashi replied without hesitation. “You already gave me the ring, remember?”
“Course I ‘member,” Bokuto scoffed. “’Cause we beat Russia at the World Championships that night.”
There it was again, that sudden queasiness. Akaashi had to bite his lip to hold back the bile. Thankfully, Bokuto hadn’t noticed. He was too busy looking at his own feet. “Come on, let’s go to bed,” Akaashi urged, sliding beneath Bokuto’s arm again.
“Tryn’a get me into bed,” Bokuto snorted. “You’re shameless, Keiji. Just can’t get enough’a me, can you?”
“Come on,” Akaashi rolled his eyes, tugging Bokuto along.
The light on the nightstand was still on, and the bed was unmade—Akaashi had left in rather a rush. But Bokuto wasn’t bothered. He dropped onto the mattress with a soft thump. “Should I do a strip tease?” he asked, reaching for the buttons of his shirt and looking up at Akaashi with lidded eyes. It might’ve been sexy if he wasn’t struggling to hold his head up like a newborn.
“Another time,” Akaashi said.
Akaashi slipped back into the pajamas he’d been wearing earlier, but when he turned around, Bokuto was still struggling with the buttons of his shirt. He hadn’t even managed to undo one of them. Akaashi stepped up to him, his own fingers taking over. “Let me,” he ordered softly.
Bokuto’s hands fell away, and Akaashi worked open the buttons one at a time, exposing Bokuto’s chest, his torso, his shoulders. As he pushed the fabric open to slide it down Bokuto’s shoulders, the fingers of his left hand pressed against cool metal, and he froze.
It seemed Bokuto hadn’t noticed Akaashi’s hesitation. He mumbled a quiet “Thanks” as he shrugged out of his shirt. The metal of the prosthetic arm gleamed in the dim light. It connected at his shoulder, giving way to the robotic limb all the way down to the fingertips. Bokuto lifted the arm and scratched idly at his cheek. Akaashi watched the fingers move, following every tiny movement.
Akaashi finally looked away, turning his gaze to Bokuto’s face instead. Bokuto was still watching him with lidded eyes, like he was struggling to keep them open.
“Sorry,” Akaashi said.
“Why are you sorry? I’m… I’m the one who’s sorry,” Bokuto murmured. “I’m sorry you… I wish I didn’t… I wish I didn’t do this.”
Akaashi’s mouth fell open. “Don’t, it’s okay,” he urged. “You don’t have to be sorry.”
Bokuto’s face twisted in disgust. “I do,” he countered. “I’m the worst. And you have to take care of me… You should just leave me. Just let me rot in that cell next time and—“
Akaashi leaned forward abruptly, his lips crashing down on Bokuto’s with enough force to steal the air from his lungs. He could taste the strong bite of sake on Bokuto’s tongue immediately, even before opening his mouth. It was a taste he’d gotten used to a long time ago. As Bokuto hummed against Akaashi’s lips, the fingers of the prosthetic hand curling around Akaashi’s arm, the guilt closed in around Akaashi once more.
Because it was Akaashi’s fault that Bokuto drank. Akaashi’s fault that he’d lost his arm.
Akaashi’s fault that Bokuto would never play volleyball again.
Everyone had tried to tell Akaashi that the accident wasn’t his fault. It was so late at night, he didn’t ask for the bad weather, and there was no way he would’ve been able to see the black ice. He hadn’t made the car flip across the median, hadn’t put the guard rail there, hadn’t asked for the door to crush Bokuto’s arm. There was no helping the infection that made its way to the bone. No one could have prevented the amputation.
It was a miracle that Bokuto was even alive, and even more of a miracle when he’d been given the robotic arm. Physical therapy and work with a neurosurgeon had given him about 80% of his original mobility. It might have brought an end to his professional career, but he could still coach, could still play for fun. He still had all his endorsements, and now he had even more as a disabled athlete. Recently, he’d even gotten offers from a major apparel brand asking him to do a campaign with a few other disabled athletes. He had a lot going for him.
But none of that was enough to keep Bokuto from drinking, from getting drunk enough to try and forget about the missing limb, about the life that had been taken away from him. Unfortunately, drunk Bokuto was rowdy, and he found himself at the police station more often than not. They never formally charged him with anything because they knew his story. They felt bad for the poor athlete with the shattered dream.
No matter how bad Bokuto got though, he never blamed Akaashi for the accident either. Even at his worst, when he was tearing apart their bedroom, screaming, sobbing, admitting that he wished the accident had killed him instead, he never once held Akaashi responsible for his pain.
It seemed the only one who thought Akaashi was at fault was Akaashi. And he would never be able to forgive himself for it.
He pressed deeper into the kiss, crawling atop Bokuto as they lay back on the bed. One hand carded through Bokuto’s hair, the other reaching down for Bokuto’s hand, real fingers twining with metal ones. The arm itself wasn’t what made Akaashi feel sick. He was actually fascinated with the arm. It was the guilt he felt when he looked at it that made his stomach turn. But not now. Not when he could feel the cool metal fingers between his own. Not when Bokuto was safe at home with him, trapped beneath him, safe from harm.
As Akaashi broke away, panting hard, he pressed his forehead to Bokuto’s. “I… Will never leave you,” he whispered. “Never.”
“You should,” Bokuto argued, even as the fingers of his free hand curled around Akaashi’s t-shirt, pulling him a little closer. “You should just go. Don’t ever look back. You’ll be able to sleep through the night again. You won’t have to worry about me.”
“I will never leave you,” Akaashi repeated firmly. “I love you. I’m not going anywhere.”
This time it was Bokuto leaning up for a kiss, and this time, the sharp bite of the sake made tears prick at the corner of Akaashi’s eyes. He hated that taste, hated that it was what Bokuto needed to numb the pain. He hated the police officers who looked at them with pity in their eyes. He hated the doctors, the coaches, the teammates, everyone who tried to be supportive while Bokuto fell apart before their eyes.
And most of all, he hated himself. He laid next to Bokuto at night, angry tears cascading down his cheeks and wishing in vain that it had been him, his arm, his life that had been turned upside down. He would have given anything to turn back the clock and take the pain away from Bokuto.
But since he couldn’t do that, he decided that he would stay with Bokuto. He would take care of Bokuto, make sure he always came home. He would make sure that Bokuto never had to spend a night in a holding cell because he had tried to drink his pain away. He would always keep Bokuto safe.
It’s called goalball: the sport that levels the playing field for blind and visually impaired athletes. To excel, athletes have to rely on their other senses; the ball contains a bell so they can hear it moving, and the lines on the court are demarcated with tape and string, so players can feel them. And to compete, athletes must undergo a rigorous training process.
This weeks illustration for the NYT Op-ed series on disability. Emily Rapp Black writes about what it’s like being an ordinary disabled athlete during the Paralympics, able-bodied people’s interrogative nature towards her, having to deal with awkward and embarrassing questions about her leg, and doing it “in a body many people might misunderstand, a body that is a source of pride and of shame, and sometimes, like all … bodies on a good day, extraordinary.”
alrighty so if you are willing–talk to me round two, but this time featuring hard of hearing!jeremy knox...(jerejean bonus points always) thoughts??
((My disclaimer here is that I don’t know near enough to speak on hoh or deaf topics, and a lot of this comes from stuff I’ve researched or read in the past paired w a couple friends who use ASL to cope w various other things and I am like?! so interested but also very much not an expert at all (that’s why it took a couple days)))
So! Hard of hearing!Jeremy Knox coming up:
hearing aids- the clunky ones are more comfortable but the small in-ear ones are less noticable (I started rereading fic and coincidentally realized I pulled this knowledge p much from here)
wearing them all of the time would be impractical and a pain so he doesn’t but he’s sensitive to people sneaking up behind him so he mostly only takes them out around the friends who know not to startle him like assholes or anything
he’s fluent in ASL because it’s useful
Let’s consider the media, though, who are assholes 99% of the time especially in LA: he handles them very well, and he is a gr9 spokespearson/rolemodel for deaf and hearing impaired people (especially kids okay)
but the whole team is VERY protective and whenever anyone tries to talk shit about “how well can he REALLY play if he’s disabled” “does it affect his captaining” “should he/shouldn’t he wear his hearing aids on the court” etc (why do people gotta stick their noses into other people’s business?? who knows man) the team SHUTS THAT SHIT DOWN like even when Jeremy was a teensie freshman no one took that shit for any seconds at all
the media HOPES Jean will talk shit about Jer’s disability when he first joins the Trojans and let’s be real, no one has any idea what Jean will say because he doesn’t act like he really notices or respects anyone yet
everyone is waiting with baited breath when the media first starts being shitty
Jean glares icily and calls them on their ableism, points out Jer’s success as captain, and says that Jer has all the skill of any hearing person/player PLUS uses his additional nonverbal skills to communicate on the court with maximum efficiency so if anything it only makes him a better captain/teammate
(this is especially true because let’s talk about how very few hearing people bother to learn sign language and treat hard of hearing and deaf people like they’re not worth communicating with okay it’s very shitty)
Jeremy tries to very sincerely thank Jean for backing him up and Jean is just ‘?????’ and says “I didn’t do it for you, I was being honest” aka he had a Nice Moment and did not understand because Jean is precious and smol
at some point Jeremy asks Kevin to team up with him to promote awareness for disabled athletes and disabled people in general. Kevin says yes mostly because it’s JEREMY KNOX aka his hero and also because it’s good press (and also because secretly he cares a lot okay he is not heartless, his idol is Jeremy Knox, of course he would want to be a role model esp for little kids) (Nicky singsongs in the background about Kevin doing it for the children and having a heart and Kevin is not impressed)
Renee and Jeremy team up to support charities and be precious lil babes
also Jeremy with an anxiety disorder is MY LIFE (thanks @reneewalkrr) and so like?? imagine on bad days he’s very twitchy and keeps his back to corners so no one can sneak up on him, keeps the aids in past the point of them being extremely uncomfortable
Jean notices (of course) and promises to watch his back if he’ll just take them out for ten minutes Knox seriously and he’s very good at this, he takes it seriously, and if they’re someplace with other people (aka not just their apartment) he stays close and taps Jer’s wrist whenever someone approaches from behind or something
Jean signs to Jeremy a lot because adding in the accent when
Jeremy’s already got a hard time deciphering the sounds makes everything even
more difficult (Jer would be Jer and just wear hearing aids all the time but
that isn’t practical or good especially because they live together?? That would
be another one of Jean’s Nice Moments early on before he’s ever nice)
This is a great time to mention that FSL has a lot in common
with ASL so the overlap would be nice
and Jean comparing FSL to ASL because they are NERDS)
Jeremy watches Netflix with subtitles on so he doesn’t have to bother focusing so much on the sound, especially if there’s any degree of background noise
when he and Jean watch Netflix together, they put the subtitles on English and the sound in French
This totally doesn’t feel like enough but I hope it’s something!! I’m tapping out but I said I’d tag @exyspacegays with the hopes that any of them (or anyone else) can jump on this and add more to it!!
If ads have taught us anything about athletics, it’s that all you need to do is pop open a bowl of Official Sponsor cereal and slide on your Official Sponsor shoes to transform into an Olympic-level competitor. It’s a tried and true method: “Best Sports Guy uses our product, and he is the Best Sports Guy! Use our product, too!” But tried and true methods are boring. You know what would really sell shoes? Mocking the disabled. Like Nike did here.
The words may be a little hard to read when compressed to Internet size, so let’s break this thing down:
How can a trail running shoe with an outer sole designed like a goat’s hoof help me avoid compressing my spinal cord into a Slinky on the side of some unsuspecting conifer, thereby rendering me a drooling, misshapen non-extreme-trail-running husk of my former self, forced to roam the earth in a motorized wheelchair with my name embossed on one of those cute little license plates you get at carnivals or state fairs, fastened to the back?
Yep, Nike decided to fuck paraplegics and the chairs they rode in on and published this ad in 11 outdoor magazines. Turns out most sane human beings realize that belittling the physically disabled is sort of a mean-spirited way to go about selling a running shoe, so the company went into apology frenzy mode, and their spokesman rushed in to point out that the company has “a long and diverse record of supporting disabled athletes.” You may recognize that as the corporate sports equivalent of “We totally have black friends, so we can say that word.”
Canadians are proud (and perhaps even a little bit smug). We ran the data:
We have a Minister of Environment and
We have a Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and REFUGEES.
Our Prime Minister is a sci-fi geek.
Our Minister of Health is an actual Doctor.
Our Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is a poverty
Our Minister of Science is an actual Scientist (oh, and she has a Nobel Prize).
Our Minister of Status of Women is an actual woman!
Our Minister of Veterans Affairs is a quadriplegic because he was shot in a
Our Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour is a Professional
Our Minister of Democratic Institutions is a Muslim refugee.
Our Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities is a Paralympian Athlete.
Our Minister of Defence is a badass war hero, Afghanistan combat vet, and
Our Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is a former
Our Minister of Public Safety and Emergency
Preparedness was a Scout.
Our Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic
Development was a financial analyst.
Our Minister of Finance is a successful
Our Minister of Justice was a crown prosecutor and
is a First Nations leader.
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT IS A GODDAMN ASTRONAUT!
Half of our Ministers
Half of our Ministers are men.
Two of our Ministers are people of First Nations (Kwakwaka'wakw, Inuit)
Three of our Ministers were born outside of Canada (India, Afghanistan)
Two of our Ministers are Sikh.
At least one of our Ministers is Muslim.
At least two of our Ministers are Atheist.
One of our Ministers is battling breast cancer.
One of our Ministers is in a wheelchair.
One of our Ministers is blind.
One of our Ministers is openly gay.
One of our Ministers is openly ginger.
Also, Hon. Navdeep Bains has a perfect twirly moustache.
*disclaimer: I made this post from a few different shares I saw on FB. One of the parts is by Alana Phillips.