After witnessing some of the ugliest effects of sports culture play out this past week, it's good to see that some douchebags are being held (somewhat) accountable for their actions. In Buffalo, Wyoming, Pat Lynch stepped down as Buffalo High School football coach after circulating a "Hurt Feelings Report" survey for his team before a playoff game. The survey asks you to check if you are "thin-skinned," "a pussy," "a queer," "have woman like hormones [sic]" among other options. There are lines for the name of the "little sissy" filing report and their "girly man signature," to be accompanied by the "real man signature" of the accused.
It's not clear how serious Lynch was about using the survey—what is clear is how this kind of survey reinforces dominate and harmful gender codes about who is allowed to have what emotional responses. It equates having an emotional response to being a woman, being gay, or being feminine. Oh, are you actually queer? Here, let me invalidate your identity. A sample of the survey is below (via Prep Rally):
In the wake of the events at Penn State, this is a disturbing reminder of how sports teams at every level need to start taking accountability seriously and putting people—especially children and youth—first. This survey, which literally makes a homophobic, sexist mockery of reporting abuse, sends a clear message that coming forward about bullying will be met with ridicule and humiliation instead of accountability. If your coach was circulating these, it's not difficult to extrapolate how a larger culture of silencing and policing is fostered, leading to abuses of power. Good luck having your emotional needs met, let alone an abusive situation ending.
Lynch is no longer coaching, but he's kept his position as—wait for it—guidance counselor. A man who clearly thinks you're a "little bitch" for reporting abuse will be counseling youth. LGBTQ youth could walk into the office of the man who thinks "queer" is an insult. The Buffalo Bulletin reported yesterday that with growing awareness of Lynch's survey, the school is under more pressure, but it looks like we have a long way to go to understanding "accountability."
Antigay Survey a Fumble for Prep Football Coach [The Advocate]