“It’s not normal. And even if it were normal, it’s not right”
In Sunday night’s second presidential debate, Donald Trump stuck to his “locker-room talk” explanation of his comments regarding his treatment of women. It’s been his refrain since the release of audio of Trump chatting with Billy Bush when the latter was with “Access Hollywood.”
During the recording, made in 2005 but released last week, Trump talked about women allegedly letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
“When you're a star they let you do it,” Trump said. “You can do anything. … Grab them by the p----. You can do anything.”
Trump apologized for using that language while trying to dismiss it as typical locker-room conversation. Professional athletes are taking issue with the characterization asserting that the language Trump used isn’t standard locker-room banter. And even if it were, that wouldn’t excuse bragging about committing sexual assault. Longtime professional baseball player and coach Frank White asserted as much.
As an athlete, I've been in locker rooms my entire adult life and uh, that's not locker room talk.— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle)1476071161.0
I'm offended as an athlete that @realDonaldTrump keeps using this "locker room talk" as an excuse.— Robbie Rogers (@Robbie Rogers)1476062449.0
Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe added perspective on how players who might engage in that kind of talk typically are perceived, while current NFL tight end Jacob Tamme reinforced what players consider to be “normal” language.
@wilw I've been in a locker room. Guys who talk like that aren't generally liked.— Cassandra, Pudgy Nobody (@Cassandra, Pudgy Nobody)1475875900.0
Please stop saying "locker room talk"— Jacob Tamme (@Jacob Tamme)1476061927.0
It's not normal. And even if it were normal, it's not right. https://t.co/RQUWJJBSTn— Jacob Tamme (@Jacob Tamme)1476063058.0
It wasn’t just athletes who took to twitter to lay into Trump’s choice of words. Some in the entertainment industry—along with NBA star Blake Griffin—also pointed out the absurdity of the explanation—often in humorous ways.
All this heavy breathing seems more locker room-esque than anything #debate— Blake Griffin (@Blake Griffin)1476062787.0
My locker room talk: "Ow, I think I hurt my back. What was my combination, again?"— Brent Spiner (@Brent Spiner)1475951002.0
Locker room talk? You're not on a team. #Debates— Chelsea Handler (@Chelsea Handler)1476061917.0
Meanwhile, actor and activist George Takei cut right to the heart of the issue.
When Trump says it's just "locker room talk," he's defending the very culture that normalizes sexual assaults on women.— George Takei (@George Takei)1476062275.0