- Grove City, Pennsylvania

February 27, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Media makes too big a deal out of Danica Patrick

By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Columnist

OPINION — SO THE BIG news around the sporting world last week was that Danica Patrick earned the pole at the Daytona 500.

Big whoop.

I’m not saying that because I don’t like NASCAR (I don’t).

And I’m not saying it, because I have problems with female athletes (I don’t).

My issue is that my fellow media members made such a big deal about it.

So what Patrick is a female.

It’s not like she had to overcome some major physical hurdles to drive a car really, really fast around an oval.

I could see making a huge fuss over her if she had to overcome some physical abnormality or disfigurment to race -- like Oscar Pistorius who ran in this past summer’s Olympic Games despite missing both legs and is back in the news for allegedly murdering his model girlfriend -- but Patrick’s only obstacle was a gender bias w-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too many people in this country have.

We, as a society, need to get past ‘historic’ feats based on gender or skin color and treat them as normal occurances.

I said the same thing 4-plus years ago when Barack Obama was elected the first black President of the United States.

Who cares if Obama’s black or Patrick is a woman?

I thought we had moved past these petty ideologies and left them in the early to mid 19th century.

First and foremost, they are human beings and we need to view them as such.

I get tired of people making big deals of things because a female did this or a whatever ethnicity did that.

Would ESPN and many other media outlets out there have made a big deal if Kyle Busch or Tony Stewart won the pole at Daytona?

I doubt it.

Would so many people made a fuss over Obama succeeding George W. Bush in the White House if he was an older white guy?

Don’t think so.

We, as a society, need to move past these preconcieved notions that only men can drive a car really fast or that only a man can dunk a basketball -- Hello, Brittney Griner.

We need to get to the point where we see people and not gender or skin color.

Now that a woman has done something fairly prestigious in auto racing and has dunked a basketball and a minority has been elected to most powerful position in the world, we can all move on to bigger and better things.

Agree, disagree or just want to comment? Contact Corey at