Columnist roughed up by players

Adrian Taylor's column has drawn the righteous judgement of the sport's faithful.
Adrian Taylor's column has drawn the righteous judgement of the sport's faithful. Chris Ison Rokcroller

IS it a sport?

There were 1982 votes on the online poll that appeared in my column.

97% said yes, roller derby is a sport.

3% said no.

I'M not sure what the opposite of fan is, but I have lots of them.

Hundreds of angry roller derby activists vented their spleen at me yesterday.

They were responding to a column I wrote in the Bulletin last week in which I argued that roller derby should not be considered a sport because it involved fishnet stockings.

It was meant to be light-hearted but it appears to have hit a very raw nerve.

When it was put on our website on Tuesday evening, it generated an outpouring of vituperation from women in America who signed their derogatory outpourings with names such as Pariah Carey, Torch Her, Betty Schnockered, Suzy Pow and Wishbone Breaker.

They all conveyed, in various derogatory terms, that I had no right to dismiss their beloved sport as a crude amusement played by well-built young women in various stages of undress.

I learned, many times over, that the reason participants in roller derby wear fishnet stockings is to prevent something called "rink rash". Well of course. Why else?

A number sought to hit back by attacking one of my favourite sports. "How many people watch cricket anyway?" one asked.

I was taken aback at the number who cared enough to write such detailed and impassioned emails to defend their sport and tell me how seriously they take it. One said I had committed blasphemy. My Lord, really?

But then they come from a land where, when the boys don ridiculous armour to play a form of rugby littered with forward passes, the girls go to cheerleading classes.

Best not to be too harsh on women whose only other sporting option involves short skirts and pompoms.

Read some of the article's backlash here.

Topics:  opinion roller derby

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