With Bush giving a press conference about the war in Iraq,Thursday wasn't exactly a slow news day. Yet the Times found room on Friday'sfront page for Winnie Hu's storyabout American Indian lacrosse players, "American Indians Widen Old Outlet In Youth Lacrosse."
"Here on Oneida land, roughly 25 miles east of Syracuse, they are part of a new generation of American Indians reasserting their heritage through a game that was invented by their ancestors but in recent decades has been perceived mainly as the province of prep schools and elite colleges.
"Over the past four years, the North American Minor Lacrosse Association has grown into a league of six American Indian teams, each with different age divisions, in upstate New York, with 1,000 players ages 3 to 20. Some upstate Indian tribes, newly prosperous from gambling profits and keen to preserve their past, have hired coaches and referees, bought equipment and refurbished playing fields."
Later in the story, readers could observer political correctness trumping the paper's corporate-linefeminism.
"While the teams do not wear native clothing or have tribal sideline chants, the players say they adhere to the spirit of the game played hundreds of years ago. For instance, the Onondaga Red Hawks and the Tonawanda Braves do not allow girls to play, and male players on some other teams forbid women to touch their sticks for fear such contact could cost them the protection of the Creator during games. If a stick has been touched by a woman or girl, some native lore says it must be put away for seven days, and some Tonawanda players have been known to discard or give away such sticks."
The Times doesn't even comment on the practice, which would surely be criticized as sexist if performed by, say, a white Christian sect - or white lacrosse players from Duke University, a group the Times never hesitated to assume were guilty, if not rape, then at least sexism and general hooliganism.