North Korean defectors who have spent years countering Communist propaganda now find themselves at odds with the South Korean government
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore believes pornography can poison men’s minds.
In an era when powerful men are falling from grace due to sexual misconduct toward women, Moore hopes to use his position of power to teach ballplayers throughout the Royals organization to view and treat women properly. That starts with addressing men’s mindsets, in Moore’s view, and he sees porn as a feeder problem, if not a root cause—even if secular society won’t acknowledge it as such.
Moore thus had Fight the New Drug (FTND), a nonreligious anti-porn organization, host a seminar about the evils of adult entertainment during spring training at the Royals’ training complex in Surprise, Ariz. Attendance was mandatory for the Royals’ minor leaguers but optional for major leaguers.
“To me, educating our players about the harmful effects of pornography is similar to the importance of honoring women, respecting women and looking at them as human beings and not as sexual objects,” Moore told USA Today. “Most of these young men are going to be husbands and fathers. It’s our job to educate them.”
Many in the national media disagree: Lisa Ann, a former pornographic film star who hosts a fantasy sports show on satellite radio, says the Royals have no business telling players how to spend their free time. National sportswriter Charles P. Pierce wrote for Sports Illustrated that “part of me wonders where the management of a baseball team gets off promoting what may well be camouflaged quackery to its players.” (FTND’s research concerning the adverse effects of pornography on the brain has come under fire from some scientists—a 2016 op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune accused FTND of “systematically misrepresenting science.”)
Still, Moore, a devout Christian, recalls the lasting effects of his own experiences viewing porn in his 20s as well as those that young men between the ages of 16 and 25 have recounted to him. That includes the story of a prison inmate who committed rape at age 15—after he started viewing porn at age 12.
Most professional baseball players, especially in the minors, fall into the 16-25 age range. Neuroscientists generally believe the brain is still developing in one’s teens and early 20s and doesn’t fully mature until roughly age 25.
This means the adolescent brain is still being hard-wired, and the damage from viewing pornography at that age can be lasting. According to a 2011 Psychology Today article, viewing porn during the brain’s developmental stages “has the potential to lead to great problems in sexual compulsivity and sex addiction throughout the adolescent boy’s life because his brain gets shaped to expect the ‘heroin-like’ porn dopamine rush from all his real-life sexual experiences.”
It doesn’t help that porn is readily accessible at no cost via electronic tablets and smartphones—or that ballplayers often have long hours to fill while traveling. Also, should a player suffer sleep deprivation while feeding his porn addiction, as porn addicts often do, it could adversely affect his performance: “In a game that requires concentration and focus over 162 games, I’ve yet to run into a player where their personal life doesn’t affect their play on the field,” Moore told the sports website The Athletic.
Moore won’t go so far as to ban porn from the Royals’ clubhouse, as the Colorado Rockies reportedly did under then-general manager Dan O’Dowd in the mid to late 2000s. Still, Moore seems to have his players’ support: “The porn thing is a big deal,” Royals outfielder Alex Gordon said. “And with the outlet to social media and everything, people don’t realize how much it affects people.”
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Nationwide, transgender athletes are blurring the once-distinct lines between male and female in public-school sports programs that, for the most part, remain segregated by sex. One California seventh-grader is blurring the lines even further.
Junior White, who recently turned 13, is biologically male. From the start of basketball season until February, White played for his school’s boys’ squad and used boys’ restrooms and locker rooms. Then he asked for permission to use girls’ facilities but also said he identified as “gender fluid,” meaning sometimes he thinks of himself as a girl and sometimes as a boy. White currently considers himself a transgender female, according to his father, Matt.
The Antelope School District in Red Bluff gave White permission to use his school’s girls’ facilities but told him he could no longer compete on male-only athletic teams. When he complained, LGBT-friendly media rallied around White and publicized a Twitter campaign, #ISTANDWITH34—a reference to White’s jersey number. White and his friends showed up at games holding signs demanding that the district let him rejoin the boys’ basketball team.
California law requires that public schools let students compete for athletic teams and use facilities consistent with their gender identity. The law does not require that students’ choice of teams match what locker room they use.
White is 5-foot-7 and weighs 145 pounds, according to his father: “His body is built more like a man’s than a child’s,” Matt White said. “That’s all there is to it.”
White is also a standout football player who was already attracting national attention for his abilities on the gridiron before his flap with the Antelope School District made national news. According to Matt, Junior can bench-press 225 pounds and dead-lift 420.
Should Junior White compete against girls in basketball or other sports, his physical strength and aggressiveness could endanger biologically female competitors: “Let’s say he’s going for the ball in a basketball game and going as fast as he can,” Matt said. “Because he’s bigger, stronger and more toned, he’s gonna put everybody in a bad spot.”
Matt isn’t just referring to the athletes on the court but the backlash his family could face for letting Junior be out there: “If my child collides with a girl who’s, like, 80 pounds—a petite little thing—some angry person is going to believe he shouldn’t be out there. … [The girl’s] father is going to get upset, and he has every right to.”
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Charlotte, Nashville, and Wichita are hosting early-round games in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament—but LGBT advocates say North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kansas allow discrimination against LGBT persons on religious or other grounds.
A California law that went into effect last year prohibits the state’s public universities from funding or sponsoring travel to those purportedly discriminatory states. But if UCLA gains an invitation to the tourney, as seems likely, the Bruins will disobey the law by playing there, according to UCLA athletic department spokeswoman Shana Wilson.
The effect: absolutely nothing. California’s law provides no penalties for violators.
Since the NCAA supports the LGBT agenda, it’s somewhat surprising that Charlotte, Nashville, and Wichita are host sites: During the 2016-17 academic year, the NCAA moved seven postseason events out of North Carolina to express disdain for the state’s since-repealed “bathroom bill,” which required transgender persons to use public restrooms corresponding with the gender listed on their birth certificates. Nevertheless, this year’s venues are set.
California isn’t the only state to ban its public universities’ sports teams from traveling to states deemed anti-LGBT: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order forbidding “nonessential” travel to such states. Stony Brook, one of New York’s four public NCAA Division I universities, canceled an early-season baseball series at Southern Mississippi for that reason.
The cancellation of a nonconference baseball series didn’t make many waves. The NCAA tournament is different. California and New York legislators will have to decide: enforce their travel bans, even at the expense of national championships for their college sports programs, or come off as paper tigers?