NY Times dragged over front page story of women with dreads crying about racist equestrian helmets

The New York Times’ obsession with racial grievance mongering has perhaps just reached its pinnacle, with the alleged paper of record running a whole story about horse-riding helmets not fitting the heads of black women with thick hair.

Titled “Black Equestrians Want to Be Safe. But They Can’t Find Helmets,” the piece published Friday complains about horse-riding being “a sport that remains overwhelmingly white.”

“Chanel Robbins has been riding horses most of her life, ever since her grandmother traded a cow from their family’s farm in Ontario for a pony when she was 7. Galloping through the fields on her pony, Star, offered an escape from thoughts that weighed on her — that she didn’t have a relationship with her biological parents, for instance, or that she was the only Black girl in the neighborhood, aside from her sister,” the piece begins.

“About eight years ago, she reconnected with her father, a native of Jamaica. As the two grew closer, Ms. Robbins decided to style her hair in locs, like her dad. But there was a problem: Her riding helmet no longer fit, and she couldn’t find one that did,” it continues.

This seems like an understandable complaint, no? However, what Robbins had to say in her own words was less relatable.

“I finally freaking feel like myself, and now society is asking me to change. I just want to be able to ride,” she said.

In other words, she demands that the rest of the world change to appease her new hairdo — and for that, she’s now receiving front-page treatment:

But Robbins isn’t the only one.

“Black equestrians have long felt virtually invisible in a sport that remains overwhelmingly white. For those with natural hair, which for many is a declaration of pride and Black identity, finding a helmet that fits properly can be nearly impossible, creating yet another barrier to full inclusion. Some are now lobbying for change, mindful that horseback riding is among the leading causes of sports-related traumatic brain injury,” the Times piece notes.

Critics have some issues. They say that while the desire by black equestrians to protect their heads with a helmet is completely understandable, their unwillingness to make the compromises and sacrifices needed to do so is not.

Note that even The New York Times’ own liberal readers feel this way, as evidenced by the top-voted comments on the Times’ piece.

“If you play a sport that requires your body is a particular shape – whether that’s weight for football, height for basketball, a minimal hair style for riding, or shaving body hair for swimmers – you do it,” the top-voted comment with 800+ recommendations reads.

“Demanding that things be changed because you prefer a particular look is entitled and unrealistic. I imagine the helmet manufacturers will give the correct responses and do nothing,” it continues.

(Source: The New York Times)

As for horse-riding helmet manufacturers, they’re aware of the problem and interested in working on it but argue that it’s not an easy fix.

“If it’s truly a manufacturing problem, anything is possible, but we’re talking years of development,” Laura Qusen, the chief operating officer at Tipperary Equestrian, explained to the Times.

She added that there’s also the risk of investing so much money in developing a new helmet with new safety standards for such a niche market (of thick-haired black women who refuse to simply cut their hair).

This pragmatic response reportedly deeply upset Robbins.

“The exchange with Ms. Qusen left Ms. Robbins in tears. She wondered if it was time to find a new sport, one that would make her feel like she mattered,” the Times reported.

Much like Times’ readers, most Twitter users were not very sympathetic to her plight, nor to the Times’ race-baiting framing of the issue.



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Vivek Saxena


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