Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis made a big impression on the sports landscape in 2014—enough to garner Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year honors.
I can’t decide if this is demeaning only to female athletes or to women in general.
Reality check: Mo’ne Davis pitched two games for the Pennsylvania team in the 2014 Little League World Series — a 4-0 win and an 8-1 loss. Her team was knocked out in a semifinal game by the Nevada team, which went on to lose the final game to Illinois.
Would the AP ever select a little league baseball player (or other 13-year-old boy) as Male Athlete of the Year? Would the AP ever select a Male Athlete of the Year who has not distinguished himself among his peers and has zero notable accomplishments? Pitching and winning a Little League World Series game is not in itself a notable accomplishment. None of the boys who did it got any votes for 2014 AP Male Athlete of the Year.
The 2014 AP Male Athlete of the Year is, like Mo’ne Davis, a baseball pitcher: Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants. What did he do that was so special? Well, he was the MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series, in which he was 2-0 with a save, a 0.43 ERA, 17 strikeouts and one walk in 21 innings, which serves to emphasize what a joke the Female Athlete of the Year award is.
Clayton Kershaw finished second in the voting, followed by Derek Jeter, Rory McIlroy, Peyton Manning, Tim Howard, Lionel Messi, Tim Duncan, Aaron Rodgers, Novak Djokovic, Richard Sherman, Tom Brady, Thomas Mueller, Sidney Crosby, Marcus Mariota and LeBron James, all of whom distinguished themselves without qualification among the best athletes in their respective sports.
There’s no one in that list who is exceptional only under special pleading, e.g., he’s not a great soccer player but for a guy with one leg, he’s tremendous!
Sure, there are lots of better baseball players than Mo’ne Davis but she’s pretty good for a girl so let’s give her a big-time award.