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Reply To: The Power of Tenderness: Ted Lasso, Grail Hero,” with Gabrielle Basha”

Gabrielle Basha

    Well, I can’t deny that Ted has some real cringe-y turns of phrase! He’s a comedic character, after all, definitely a caricature of the type of person we might admire in real life. Either way, to your point around judgment: Ted isn’t judging people, but situations. Judgement is very important, as in use-your-best. Ted encourages us to reserve your judgement of people, and assume good will when possible. (When not possible, completely hustle them at darts.)

    You bring up a great point around kindness and strength, and if I had more space in my piece I would have loved to compare the kindness of Ted with the kindness of a totally different character: Roy Kent.

    Roy is a great example of a character who is kind but not nice. He’s angry, he’s guarded, but as the captain of the team, he also looks out for his players – even the kit man, Nathan, who’s being bullied by other players. He’s furious Ted isn’t handling the situation, and so stands up to Jamie (the perfect example of this toxicity I’m talking about) to get the team to fall in line.

    A lot of toxicity is based in fear. Jamie reveals he’s competitive and aggressive because his father literally beat these qualities into him, telling him it’s the only way to be a man. This doesn’t only hurt Jamie as an individual, but the entire team suffers when he puts his ego first. In fact, when he’s playing for Manchester (Man City! Fantastic pun there) and does pass the ball to a teammate, it results in a goal and Man City taking the game. Ted comes to congratulate him (an honorable thing to do after his team has lost) and sees Jamie being berated by his father for passing the ball – even though it won his team the match.

    What’s the risk inherent in passing the ball? Why be so concerned about “looking weak”? What’s the fear here? The toxic masculine must remain on top, untouchable, or risk falling lower in the pecking order and being pecked themselves, even if this isn’t a risk in their environment.