Elizabeth Lambert: Where is the Outrage?

I’ve watched this video over and over again now, and I still can’t understand why, in any of these egregiously unsporting incidents, none of the women mistreated by Elizabeth Lambert turned around to treat this woman to an elbow in her jaw.

The ugliness unfolds in a kind of crazy silence — Lambert punches a woman in the back, nothing happens. She clotheslines another player, nothing happens. A vicious kick to the face, nothing. A head is snapped back; still no one rises up in fury and outrage.

And where are the refs? Where are the coaches? Where are the fans? And most especially where are the teammates?

If a pitcher intentionally hits a batter with a pitch, that batter is likely to drop her bat and head toward the mound, and if someone doesn’t stop it, there’s going to be a melee because the whole team will surge out of the dugout in fury.

Same goes for these kinds of behaviors on the basketball court, in a hockey game, and on the football field.

So why did this unbelievably inappropriate behavior continue to unfold in silent, unreproached ugliness? Yes, it’s getting media attention now. What I want to know is why it didn’t arouse outrage when it was happening.

What the hell was going on here?

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7 Responses to Elizabeth Lambert: Where is the Outrage?

  1. petrel November 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    I was stunned at what happened, and then my wife explained it to me. “They’re Mormons. They wouldn’t fight back.” I don’t know if that’s ridiculous stereotyping or essential truth, but it was definitely a different perspective.

  2. Lance Bledsoe November 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    I have no idea whether being a Mormon has anything to do with it, but I can guarantee that nothing like this would ever happen in a men’s game. Not that men don’t display unsportsmanlike conduct in sporting events; you see that all the time. But you would never see that kind of conduct continue over a long period of time because someone would let the offending player know, in very clear terms, that he was out of line. Either the player who was attacked would retaliate, or one of his teammates would, or you’d have a bench-clearing brawl, but no team of male players would ever just let that go by.

    Which makes me think that the reason none of the players on the white team ever retaliated against number 15 has to do with the fact that they’re female. Maybe they were waiting for a ref or a coach to do something about it, maybe they find retaliatory violence repugnant, maybe they just didn’t know how to deal with such a bizarre display of unsportsmanlike conduct. But if number 15 was a man playing against a men’s team, the problem would have been taken care of immediately.

    • Jim June 12, 2013 at 12:52 am #

      A good example of this happened not long ago between Chelsea and Manchester City. Sergio Aguero did a double cleated stomp on David Luiz thigh while he was on the ground and a few plays later Luiz’ teammate Fernando Torres avenged him with a cleat rake down Evil Aguero’s shin and ankle. Shumway should have found an opportunity to make a perfectly legal slide tackle or six on that B-word Elizabeth Lambert. If I were her coach I’d teach her the knee in the thigh(game-ending charlie horse) tactic.

  3. Lisa Creech Bledsoe November 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    I suspect there is some gender factor at play, too. I feel it myself when someone treats me poorly; I have to work to remind myself to stand against it because my default seems to be to just walk away.

    I wrote about it once recently: http://www.theglowingedge.com/new-rule-if-they-tee-off-on-you-you-can-take-their-head-off/

    Tough to overcome.

  4. Riley November 9, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    I think the lack of reaction on part of the women is just pure shock. I don’t think it’s BECAUSE anyone is female, but Lambert’s behavior is in such violation of the norm, that I think these women may not have really had a chance to react out of pure surprise. I know that a similar thing happened to me once in a sporting event, and it took me a few beats to realize what happened, because it was so unexpected. Later, I thought to myself “why didn’t I turn around and wallop her?” In the moment it was so “WTF?” that the anger didn’t set in until the moment had long passed.

    Totally woulda kicked her ass after the game though, if given the opportunity!

  5. Jim Hemenway November 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Can I offer a third option? Coaching. I played for coaches in high school and college that demanded that we strike back. I played with a guy who got benched for not leaving the bench when we got into it with another team in college. I have also spoken to guys who played for teams whose coaches taught disciple and poise in those types of situations. Perhaps the BYU coach falls into that segment of the coaching population.


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