clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Why Cody Bellinger’s ‘shoved it up our butt’ quote was revealing

In paying an opponent a compliment, the Dodgers star went for a sexual reference.

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants - Game Five
Cody Bellinger, facing, hugs teammate Gavin Lux after the Dodgers beat the Giants in the National League Championship Series.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

I was watching the postgame celebration after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Fransciso Giants in the deciding game of their baseball playoffs last week when Dodgers hero Cody Bellinger unleashed his inner Sean Cody.

“Huge props to Logan Webb, man. It’s really hard to hit him. He shoved it up our butts twice,” Bellinger said about the Giants pitcher who was dominant in both playoff starts against the Dodgers.

I laughed when I heard it but was also a bit puzzled by the direction Bellinger’s mind went when answering a standard baseball question — he start talking about being penetrated by another man.

It’s easy to have fun with this. “You realized you just described a top-bottom relationship perfectly, right?” Outsports’ Ken Schultz said in an Outsports chat we had discussing the quote. “As long as it’s consensual, no shaming!”

And while what Bellinger said was humorous, it is revealing about how so many men fixate on same-sex sex, especially the dread of being taken against their will.

The “don’t drop the soap in the shower” meme is as old as locker room showers, as is a reference to being the “bride” or “bitch” if a man is sent to prison. On the classic HBO comedy “The Larry Sanders Show,” Larry’s TV sidekick Hank is arrested for illegally importing Cuban cigars after being ratted out by Larry. “Don’t bother visiting me in prison,” Hank tells him, “because you’ve already fucked me in the ass.”

Schultz, our resident baseball historian, noted that the “shoved it up our butt” line has been used before in baseball. “I just came across Don Newcombe — a pitcher from the 1950s — using a variation on it in a Yogi Berra bio yesterday,” he said. “Weird that this one sex metaphor is almost like a verbal heirloom.”

In discussing what Bellinger said, Cyd Zeigler had some great insight.

“Using gay sex analogies to denote power structures, and strength and weakness, doesn’t necessarily convey hate, but it speaks to the roots of sexism and homophobia in language,” Zeigler said. Bellinger “is not saying he hates gay people, but it’s how this language is a constant subtle reminder of how the idea of weakness pervades gay men. It doesn’t seem hateful when guys like this say this stuff, it’s just what they say.”

What’s weird is that Bellinger was paying Webb a huge compliment — Webb was so dominant that he was able to “shove it” up the collective butts of the powerhouse Dodgers lineup, rendering them impotent and submissive. That’s the power dynamic Bellinger alluded to — the winner is the fucker, the loser the fuckee.

Language that involves something as cruel as homophobic slurs or benign as sex talk or sexual metaphors can have a powerful effect on keeping LGBTQ athletes, especially men in team sports, from coming out.

In an Outsports-sponsored survey of LGBTQ athletes who came out in high school or college, 69.3% said they heard at least 1 in 10 teammates use homophobic language on a weekly basis.

“If that language is being used in the locker room before the team knows they have someone gay on their team, that’s going to slow someone’s coming out process,” basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo said in discussing the results of the survey. “Especially when you’re dealing with younger kids, high school kids.”

“Language is what impacted me the most, even if it wasn’t directed at me,” said Brock McGillis, a former hockey player who identifies as gay.

“While I’m not up in arms over Bellinger’s post-game quip, it does show how making fun of gay sex is part of sports culture,” said Alex Reimer, Outsports’ assistant managing editor. “ In this world, getting fucked is a humiliating act. If you hear those words often as an athlete, eventually they start to ring true.”

In no way do I think Bellinger’s comment was mean-spirited or meant to be derogatory to anyone. His team had just won a nail-biter of a series and he was ecstatic. So while we can chuckle that he talked about butt sex live on national TV, let’s not lose sight of the dynamic that made that thought leap from his mind to his mouth so quickly.