As we move from Ray Rice (former Raven) to Condoleezza Rice (future NFL commish?), I thought we’d lighten up with Colin Kaepernick – 49ers quarterback, model, sex symbol.
Colin’s on the cover of the new V Man magazine, photographed by Bruce Weber, whose gift for capturing men and homoeroticism is unquestioned. How life and art parallel one another: In my forthcoming novel, “In This Place You Hold Me” – the second book in my series, “The Games Men Play” – New York Templars quarterback Quinn Novak poses for a series of erotic photos by fashion/art photog Elliott Gardener, whom we meet in Alí’s story arc in my first book, “Water Music.” Apparently, you really can’t make this stuff up.
Anyway, back to Colin. He lifts his shirt and tugs at his waistband – hinting at further delights – but the best thing about the photos that have been released thus far (I haven’t seen the mag but you know I’ve already ordered a copy) is the soulful look in those chocolate-brown eyes as he stares out at the viewer. He has the loveliest eyes. And it is a gift to be able to convey that to the camera and thus to us. There are lots of good-looking people who do not know how to pose and certainly could never look directly at the lens. It’s a mark of a great photographer to pull this off but also of a great still actor in the tradition of Marilyn Monroe.
Of course, no one was looking at Colin’s eyes as he posed with Seattle Seahawks QB (and rival) Russell Wilson for one of Sports Illustrated’s four NFL preview covers (Aug. 27). I won’t bore you with who’s on the others. No one cares. All anyone was talking about was how Russell and Colin (who’s topless beneath his shoulder pads) weren’t wearing jockstraps and how you can clearly see Russell’s member and how that reinforces the Seahawks’ mastery over the Niners because Russell’s must be bigger than Colin’s and how disgustingly homoerotic the NFL is and how Sports Illustrated is pandering to female (and presumably gay) readers and how the word “grace” should only be applied to the models in the swimsuit issue and blah, blah, blah.
Look, the NFL and its fans are really not in a position to argue that men are being victimized. For millennia, men have raped, beaten, mutilated and brutalized women – deprived them of rights, opportunities and even their children. And we should worry about some women and gay men admiring a pair of fine eyes – or allowing theirs to drift lower?
What men don’t get – I just had this argument with my uncle – is that while yes, it is wrong for women to treat men the way they’ve often been treated by them, the effect is simply not the same. It’s a question of size and anatomy. A woman going up against a man is simply fighting outside her weight class. She doesn’t have the upper body strength. And furthermore, she can’t rape. So her objectification of a man lacks the element of real threat that male objectification of a woman implies.
I don’t know. Maybe Condi can explain it to the guys – if and when she takes over for Roger Goodell.