Sports

Cavs Playoff Skit Sums Up Everything Wrong With Everything

Domestic violence, gender roles, conformity...is there anything this video doesn't address?

by Karisa Maxwell
May 7 2015, 6:23pm

WARNING: This video may result in anger, confusion, and severe wincing.

It's a big world. Big enough to include at least a few people in the Cleveland Cavaliers front office who thought that the video above was worth making, and then worth showing to fans on The Q's jumbotron during Wednesday night's sold-out Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls. Big enough, probably, to include some people who find it funny. That last bit depends on sense of humor, and is subjective. But at another, more objective level—one beyond any complaints about the PC Police—this is just really, inexplicably stupid. After becoming the subject of several million WTF's, the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to understand this, now. The bigger question is how they ever didn't.

It doesn't help that the video is also bad. But what would have been painful enough to watch based on the acting and dancing alone becomes something truly, uniquely bad given the video's plot. Seeing a woman being thrown across the room because of her choice in sportswear is both so stupid and so ignorant a creative choice that it's hard to believe.

Athletes in seemingly every sport are in headlines for beating women; nearly every league is scrambling to save its profits in the face of well-deserved public backlash. It would seem the easiest thing in the world to avoid blundering into this particular social issue. But, nope.

On top of the man-on-woman violence—the outlandishly stupid, obviously offensive man-on-woman violence—there are some drearily stereotypical gender norms running through this. A woman cooking in the kitchen wearing a frumpy apron and the man in the living room watching sports. Poetic, almost, right? Somehow a video designed to get fans—men and women—hyped up, winds up reminding us gals that we have a sink full of dishes to tend to after the game, and also are subject to getting thrown across the room without apology for stepping out of line.

This is when I remember what I am viciously dissecting. This is a campy, crappy promo video; it isn't up for an Oscar, or whatever the equivalent award is for cheap, dumb in-game video. It's the cinematic equivalent of a look-at-me Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubeman in a used car parking lot. We can assume that whoever is responsible for creating this didn't mean to offend anyone or cause an uproar. It's still a very dumb video. I regret to say that I'm not All In.