The Iowa Hawkeyes have had a long-standing tradition of having the visiting locker room painted pink. It was a brain game move by former head coach Hayden Fry in 1979 and has remained a part of attempting to give Iowa a home field advantage. A professor at Iowa is planning a formal protest against the pink locker room at the same time the school plans to honor Fry on Friday.
Kembrew McLeod is organizing a “million robot march” to protest what he believes demonstrates the university allowing the football program to taunt an opponent by pushing homophobia and sexism. It has been suggested the pink finish in the locker room is designed to break down the visiting team’s mental toughness. Whether it works or not is probably uncertain for sure, but there must be something to having the pink finish all these years. This is hardly the first time a concern about the pink locker rooms has surfaced at Iowa though. the gimmick has been criticized by a number of feminists, lawyers, gay rights activists and more over the years, and there will likely be more to come in the future as long as the locker room remains pink.
McLeod tells the Associated Press he and his fellow protesters will dress as robots and shout “Binary code yes! Gender binaries no!” as they address their concerns on Friday.
Iowa has no plans to redo the visiting locker room at Kinnick Stadium.
“To tear that apart and spend the money right now to redo that just seems like a very low priority to me,” University of Iowa president Sally Mason said. “Would a pink locker room have been my first choice? Probably not. But that predates me by quite a little bit.”