Karen is Bad at Sports

Stephen Douglas
Two basketballs. Neither named "Karen."
Two basketballs. Neither named "Karen." / Lance King/Getty Images
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Karen is having a controversial week as someone wondered aloud on Twitter whether or not the derogatory use of the name was a slur and then a comedy site turned it into a poll. For Karen, it was just another day on the Internet and as usual it had nothing to do with sports. In fact, Karen, for all of her well-defined characteristics, is not very good at sports. When Karen asks to talk to the manager, it is never Jimmy Dugan.

If Karen is at a sporting event, she is much more likely to be in the stands, pointing out perceived rule violations to the officials than be on the field of play. A search for "Karen" on ESPN.com brings back just 24 results. The only Karen that even generates a picture is 23-year old male Russian tennis player, Karen Khachanov.

The most prominent Karen-centric Google sports result is Karen Aston, who was just dismissed from her position as head coach of the Texas Longhorns women's basketball team. Aston played collegiality at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Was she the height of sporting Karens?

Karen Harup, a Danish swimmer, won gold and silver medals in 1940's. Karen Hantze Susman won three Grand Slam titles alongside Billie Jean King in the early '60's. Canadian Karen Magnussen won the silver medal for figure skating at the 1972 Winter Olympics. Since then, there haven't been many notable Karens in the Wide World of Sports. Karen Booker, the only Karen in WNBA history, played just over a season.

So Karen does play sports from time to time. History will just not remember her for her accomplishments in the field. She'll probably have something to say about that.

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