Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Opponents seeing red over Iowa's pink locker room
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The pink visitors' locker room at the University of Iowa's stadium is making some people see red.
The locker room for visiting football teams at Iowa is pretty in pink.
Several professors and students joined the call Tuesday for the athletic department to do away with the pink showers, carpeting and lockers, a decades-long Hawkeye football tradition.
Critics say the use of pink demeans women, perpetuates offensive stereotypes about women and homosexuality, and puts the university in the uncomfortable position of tacitly supporting those messages.
''I want the locker room gone,'' law school professor Jill Gaulding told a university committee studying the athletic department's compliance with NCAA standards, including gender equity.
For decades, visiting football teams playing at Kinnick Stadium have dressed and showered in the pink locker room. The tradition was started by former Iowa coach Hayden Fry, a psychology major who said pink had a calming and passive effect on people.
As part of the stadium's two-year, $88 million makeover, athletic officials took the former coach's interior decorating ideas to another level, splashing pink across the brick walls, shower floors and installing pink metal lockers, carpeting, sinks, showers and urinals.
The controversy gained momentum and media attention last week when a visiting law school professor told reporters she had received death threats after voicing objections on her Web site.