Nike's ad turns a sexist trope on its head by celebrating ambitious, 'crazy' women.

Nike's latest ad challenges a common sexist trope in sports—and people are loving it.

Women have fought for decades to be seen as legitimate competitors in male-dominated fields, including professional and amateur sports. Until the early 20th century, many believed that women were not biologically designed for strenuous exercise (a myth that was ultimately debunked by a female physician, Dr. Celia Duel Mosher). And it wasn't that long ago that showing intense emotion and too much ambition could land a woman in an asylum.

Throughout history, women who tried to compete at a high level were seen as "crazy." Sadly, too often, they still are.


Nike took on gender bias in sports in its latest ad, and the result is fiercely empowering. Through a montage of video clips of female athletes showing emotion both on and off the field or court, as well as women achieving incredible sports firsts, Serena Williams narrates:

"If we show emotion we're called dramatic.

If we want to play against men, we're nuts.

And if we dream of equal opportunity? Delusional.

When we stand for something, we're unhinged.

When we're too good, there's something wrong with us.

And if we get angry? We're hysterical, irrational or just being crazy."

The ad highlights times women were called "crazy" for attempting to do what had never been done—until they did it.

The first woman to run a marathon had race officials physically attempt to pull her off the course, but she did it. Many thought it was impossible for a female basketball player to dunk a ball, but it's now not uncommon at all. The idea of female coaching a male professional sports team was unheard of until the first woman did it.

In the ad, Williams continues:

"But a woman running a marathon was crazy.

A woman boxing was crazy.

A woman dunking? Crazy

Coaching an NBA team—crazy.

A woman competing in a hijab, changing her sport, landing a double cork 1080—or winning 23 Grand Slams, having a baby, and then coming back for more? Crazy, crazy, and crazy."

Williams speaks personally here. One of the fiercest and most iconic women in the history of sports, the tennis champ has kicked practically every obstacle to the curb. And like all intense, competitive women, she has done it with the constant drum beat of "she's crazy" echoing behind her.

"So if they want to call you crazy?" she concludes. "Fine. Show them what crazy can do." BOOM.

Women are sharing the hurdles they've had to overcome after seeing themselves represented in the ad.

Aside from a few predictable basement dweller "stop-whining-there's-no-such-thing-as-sexism" responses, reactions to the ad have been overwhelmingly positive. Some women responded by sharing their own experiences with gender bias in sports and other ways they had to fight against their dreams being considered "crazy."

"Dream crazier," Nike says. Don't worry, we will. And thanks for the inspiration.

Watch the full ad here:

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less