Lottery Winners Hope Visiting Team Psyched Out By Pink Locker Room


Iowa residents Brian and Mary Lohse are using $3 million of their recent $202 million Powerball win to build a new football stadium for their son's high school team, The Blue Jays, which is a nice and generous.

They had a not-so-nice stipulation, though: the opponents' locker room must be pink, to, as Mary Lohse said, "put them in a certain soft frame of mind."

From the Des Moines Register:

As for the pink locker room, that was Mary Lohse’s sense of humor kicking in with an undying love of the Hawkeyes.

"I was sort of half joking and half not I suppose, but they said they’d do it," Mary Lohse said of her scheme, inspired by the University of Iowa visitor’s locker room of the same color (pictured).

"It’s supposed to put them in a certain soft frame of mind … it will certainly give all the players something to talk about," she said.

This development comes after Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer apologized in March for punishing team members by making them wear lavender jerseys to shame them.

As the reader who sent this along pointed out, if the Lohse family wants to engage in these kind of mind games, why not just go the extra step and write gay slurs on the locker room's walls?


  1. BC says

    This is idiotic.

    1. It is idiotic that they are painting the locker room pink.

    2. It is idiotic that this post is expected to create some sort of offended outcry.

    We have to stop equating our sexuality with a color. Just because something is pink, does not mean it is automatically associated with homosexuality.

  2. Dastius Krazitauc says

    When she talks of putting the visiting team in a “certain frame of mind”, she could be talking about the psychological effect of the color pink that induces feelings of calm and lessons aggression. That might be where this started, but then why would it be considered a “sense of humor” unless it was supposed to make the visitors feel like they were considered “ladies”?

  3. Paul R says

    “…which is a nice and generous” isn’t all too clear either.

    No way could $3 million pay for a new stadium. Tearing down the old one and getting plans for the new one would cost more than that.

  4. Stefan says

    Um, it’s what was done in the Hawkeyes’ visiting team locker room. It was done in a few other high schools too, way back. It’s done in prisons, even. It’s just basic gamesmanship, and I find it funny.

    Honestly, I’m not sure why this has anything to do with gay news. They didn’t put pink triangles all over the locker room, and unless you’re using pink in that specific way it’s not like our movement owns the color. And it’s original application to and appropriation by us was specifically with reference to effeminacy, so it’s not like we don’t acknowledge that “pink = feminine.” And that’s not exactly the most compatible color for football unless you’re going to start arguing football is feminine.

  5. UFFDA says

    Pink and lavender are associated with fairies, don’t act dumb, and too many gay people with their idiot drag queens think it’s cute. That’s the cruddy past we have allowed and promoted. Talk about self-hating! It’s way past time for the changes that are happening.

  6. Paul R says

    You’re being deliberately obtuse if you claim that this has nothing to do with suggesting that the opposing team is gay. It’s a locker room in Iowa. Right or wrong, pink is still considered a gay color for men.

  7. JohnAGJ says

    @UFFDA – If you want to go through life just itching to be offended over nothing, be my guest but don’t expect everyone else to tag along with your hysteria. I don’t see this as a slight to me as a gay man at all and in fact am amused by it.

  8. gregory brown says

    The logical parallel move would be to paint the women’s sports team home locker room blue, to put the “ladies” as they’re so often referred to, into a more rugged state of mind. Some red stripes would complement that.

  9. JD says

    The irony of this is that the color pink is thought to have a psychological effect… but it’s the opposite of the intended one. Pink has been shown to actually increase alertness. BLUE would be the color that is supposed to be calming. Oops.

  10. Arkadin says

    Stefan has the right of it (I’m not going to make a homophone pun, thanks).

    Legendary University of Iowa head football coach Hayden Fry, when he took over the program, painted the visiting locker room pink. Fry had been a psychology major back in the day, and had read in a number of textbooks that the colour pink had a calming, soothing effect. This is the same sort of psychology at work in painting fast food restaurants (I’m thinking Hardee’s specifically) brown and orange, because those colour combinations make people uncomfortable, leading to faster turnaround.

    This may be so much hocus pocus, but as Stefan rightly points out, many prisons took similar actions, so it really was about calming rather than any intimations of sexuality. All this comes down to whether you believe Fry when he says that was his intent. If you believe him, there’s no outrage. If you don’t believe him, then you suggest that he went out of his way to be homophobic. We may never know for sure. I for one believe him, because I think the balance of the evidence tips that way. You may remain unconvinced, as is your right. But most Iowans know this story well.

    The couple are Iowa fans, and though the 3 million doesn’t pay for the entirety of the stadium, it helps it along immensely. Mary Lohse was perhaps a bit inelegant in her phrasing – many seem to be taking ”soft frame of mind” to imply homosexuality. This is not without cause, I grant you, but when you know the context you understand that she’s simply a Hawkeye fan and wants to imitate one of Iowa’s most popular coaches.

    And Paul, I do take umbrage at your stereotyping of Iowa and, by extension, Iowans. As a proud native, I will perhaps say nothing beyond asking whether or not you, too, can legally marry in your home state.

  11. Jake W says

    What does pink have to do with gay? Moreover, I see nothing wrong with it. It is light-hearted teasing of the opponent. Only uptight sticks in the mood would have a problem with this sports taunting. Dude, lighten up.

  12. Francis says

    *MAYBE* this isn’t homophobic. I don’t really think so, that there isn’t some homophobia in play, since, let’s be real—–pink with men is considered a “gay” color. That mentality is dying down a lot because pink has become a more mainstream color to wear for guys, but this is a football team. As the woman who proposed the idea said, she wanted to portray the other team as soft and put them in a soft frame of mind, give them something to talk about. Let’s not be obtuse about things.

    It’s clearly misogynistic. The whole pink is a girl’s color mentality is without doubt in play. You’re not real men, you’re in a pink lockerroom, na na na.

    It’s not cool, regardless of whether you view this as blatantly homophobic, it’s not OK.

  13. johnny says

    What I see wrong is how this money could have gone to do all kinds of other things like help charities, starving people, native americans or something worthwhile.

    This is a sad waste of money.

  14. bookish says

    They could have decorated it with posters of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings.

    And that “pink” looks more like salmon anyway.

  15. TL1878 says

    I don’t see this as anti-gay at all. If anything, it’s girl-associated, not gay. Also – the paint job doesn’t even look girlie, it just looks like and old generic bathroom from the 80s.

  16. Polyboy says

    Where is all this cultural amnesia coming from?

    Modern connotation of associating pink with men has been gay. All of these “feelings” aside, it’s a cultural root of this country’s heteronormative reflexology.

  17. Fenrox says

    And to the people who would rather be intractable and force pink = gay oppression, have fun! You will need to take it where you can get it.

  18. Erick says

    Stop trying to make everything about being gay. Pink is not a gay color.

    In color psychology, pink drains energy. That is why its fairly common in sports facilities to have the opposing teams locker room painted pink.

    When she mentions that it puts teams in certain soft frame of mind, she is right and back up by science and it has nothing to do with feminizing or gaying up anybody.

    You guys are really reaching here.

  19. Moz's says

    they will broke in 5 years

    majority of lottery winners end up bankrupt because they blow their money i.e. this article

  20. ratbastard says

    Pink is actually well known to have a calming effect on people. It’s even been used in jails and prisons for this purpose.

    I HATE the color pink. Possibly my least favorite color.


    ‘cultural root of this country’s heteronormative reflexology.’

    ..LOL…you remind me of a lesbian feminist Marxist teacher I had; she was unintentionally a hoot.

  21. Tommy says

    I’m a gay Iowan now living in DC. When Hayden Fry became Iowa’s head football coach in 1979, he brought many systematic changes to improve Iowa’s football mentality. Hayden was a psychology major in college. He changed the uniforms to resemble the Steelers to ignite a gridiron, defensive mind-set for the team, and, yes, he painted the visiting locker rooms pink. Hayden Fry did not do so because he is homophobic. He did it because pink is a calming, soothing color and wanted to create a psychological edge. It’s color theory, not homophobia. It is a tradition that has lasted.

    The University of Iowa is one of the most progressive universities in the country. Just last week, it was announced that they are the first major public university to ask college applicants about sexual and gender orientation. Historically, it was the first public university to admit men and women on an equal basis. The state was the first to admit women to the bar, and Iowa has gay marriage.

  22. Van2Dpool says

    Why should we care about a pink lockerroom? Did I miss the vote that made pink the official gay color?
    You’re trying to create an association between homos and the color pink, that’s terrible, sir.

  23. Bollux says

    Have people never heard of the psychological phenomenon of Baker-Miller pink? Exposure to its light waves actually decreases endocrine production and diminishes aggression. When prisons and locker rooms are painted pink, it is just for that purpose. If you are ready that as denigrating people by “sissifying” them, get over yourselves.

  24. BobN says

    I suspect the typical visiting high school football team would find this insulting and all it would do is make them angry and willing to fight harder to win. Oh, and they might be more inclined to inflict some more “accidental” injuries on the home team.

    ‘phobes need to think harder.

  25. BobN says

    I suspect the typical visiting high school football team would find this insulting and all it would do is make them angry and willing to fight harder to win. Oh, and they might be more inclined to inflict some more “accidental” injuries on the home team.

    ‘phobes need to think harder.

  26. Continuum says

    Aside from the homophobic pink problem, doesn’t anyone else find it disgusting that the couple is giving millions for a high school football stadium and nothing for actual real education of the kids.

    Seems to me that $3 million dollars could go a long way for a science or computer lab. Maybe, buy a bunch of real history and mathematics books, too.

    Or, maybe endow some kind of teachers reward program.

    I can think of maybe a million ways to spend a million dollars that don’t include making Friday night lights the most important thing in education.

  27. Will says

    Are you trying to find oppression in places that it doesn’t exist?

    Colour affects our brain. Restaurants use red to try to make you more hungry and jails use pink to calm inmates down.

  28. Diogenes Arktos says

    Except for the delightful conversation about the exact color in the picture, I cannot believe the discussion about pink. I was raised in the 1960s/70s. There was *no* dispute that pink was for girls and, therefore also, f@ggots. We had pink locker rooms and it did nothing but provoke homophobia – with snide remarks from the gym teachers and coaches that we “f@ggots” didn’t deserve better. More recently, one of the original Pride flags had pink on it. When the ‘official’ flag had none, there was some outcry that the quintessential gay color was missing. Yes, pink has become more mainstream, partially due to breast cancer awareness. There have been some LGBT activists, however, who have complained that this movement has taken over ‘our’ color.

    I am always suspicious of psychological research that does not properly account for cultural bias. Languages and cultures divide up the spectrum differently. The classic example is that Japanese views our “green” lights as “blue”. (That was true when green lights were really green.) I know that studies based on exact wavelengths and physiology attempt to account for that – but I do have my doubts. A former coworker was from central Europe. He thought red was gay. He reponded to anything red with virulent homophobia.

    I have heard (I have not verified) that in the 19th century, pink and blue were reversed: pink for boys and blue for girls. I don’t find this at all surprising.

    BTW – It’s technically “THE Ohio State University”. They have been overly sensitive about that lately.