Let me start by immediately walking back on that title: I really, really appreciate the work Mr. Do does for our sport. Point in fact, I think he’s one of the most entertaining, important producers of bike polo content in the world. We’re lucky to have him and to have his dedication to our sport.
But there was something a little funny about the recent (beautiful) video he helped make called This Is Hardcourt. While it was wonderfully rendered and made me excited to call myself a bike polo player, it seemed strangely–I don’t know–singular in its content.
By this I mean: if I didn’t know anything about bike polo and watched this video as part of a sponsorship package, I would think that only white males play the game [there are a few frames where women appear, but no narration to back up that this is a normal thing].
And, to be really frank with you, that’s a pretty accurate depiction of the sport (it’s mostly played by white males, I’m not blind for goodness sake). But it’s not the whole story, and certainly not what I’d want to show potential sponsors.
If you read the articles on this site, you know that I am pretty excited by the co-ed nature of the sport. And while I haven’t touched on it very much, I’m also jazzed by how inclusive the sport is to anyone who wants to join in (we don’t have a gay-bashing, alternative lifestyle hating culture in bike polo, is what I mean). We’re a pretty open, awesome group of people.
But, if I watched this video, I wouldn’t know that. I’d think it was a boys club. A white boy’s club–which is kinda behind the curve, don’t you think.
As soon as this video came out a few folks reached out to me to get my opinion and vent, and I’d like to share what they told me. The first was Lisa, who explained:
I was disappointed when I first saw it because clearly its purpose is as a promotional piece and it obviously didn’t illustrate that this is a coed sport, neither did the commentary. I have spoken with Ben Schultz about it and he’s seeking an edit, which is good to hear. Women are working just as hard on and off the court and I think that will really appeal to potential sponsors. Polo is one of the few truly coed sports out there and it should be celebrated.
Next, Anne emailed me with much the same sentiment, though explained a bit more: Read more