The Los Angeles Rams unveiled their new uniforms this week and, as usual when these things happen, everyone became a fashion critic. No one seemed more bothered by the new look than former Rams running back Eric Dickerson, a Hall-of-Famer.
In a 15-minute radio appearance on AM 570 Sports in Los Angeles with host Fred Roggin and former USC and NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, Dickerson went off on the uniforms.
“Like I told them, this is football,” said Dickerson, the Rams’ vice president of business development. “This ain’t nothing to do with surfing. This ain’t nothing to do with waves. This is football. This is a man’s sport. And to me, it just looks soft. It don’t look like football. It don’t look hard.”
Dickerson, 59, said the new Rams horns looked like two bananas and kept repeating his theme that the uniforms looked “soft.”
It was all within bounds, until the interview took an odd turn near the end when Dickerson lapsed into what only be called an effeminate voice to make his point, and then used what appeared to be sexual imagery playing off the team’s name.
“It looks soft, man. It looks soft,” Dickerson said at the 12:45 mark. “It looks like (and here is where he uses a more effeminate voice), ‘Hey, here we come guys, we’re on our way.’ That’s what it looks like to me. (uses voice again) ‘We’re the Rams. We’re gonna Ram it up, Ram it.’ That’s what that uniform is saying. (uses voice again) “Ram it, Ram it.’”
Dickerson was getting snickers from Roggin and Peete so he decided to end the interview using the same voice (at the 14:37 mark).
“The helmet and the logo, both of them suck. They’re soft, they’re soft. They look soft. They’re not footballing. (uses voice) ‘Hey, here we come. We’re the Rams, I mean the Lambs.’”
Lambs? Ram it up? Soft? Those are emasculating terms often used in sports like football to separate the “real men” from everyone else. I doubt anyone trying to block Aaron Donald when he’s in the new uniform would dare call him soft, but Dickerson’s words have a decided homophobic ring to them.
Dickerson probably thought he was being funny, but that kind of humor has long gone out of style and he should know better. Criticize the uniforms all you want, but just don’t be a Neanderthal about it.