Skip to main content

Some People Want UConn's Stefanie Dolson, Kiah Stokes Punished For Giving President Obama "Bunny Ears"


Bunny ears.

That is what passes for news these days. Bunny ears, as in the hand gesture that every one of us has put over our friends' heads at least fifty times in our lives. Why? Because we thought it was funny.

To some people, bunny ears are a big no-no, especially on the President of the United States.

Admittedly, I did not pay much attention to the UConn women's basketball team's visit to the White House, frankly because I think that there will be three or four more such visits in the next five years. This was also the eighth in my lifetime. Dominance will never get old.

So I was taken aback when the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla walked into the media room at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday night and told me that there were people seeking punishment for Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes, the two players who gave President Obama bunny ears during a photo op on Wednesday.

My first reaction upon hearing about the bunny ears was, "This is news?" Even now, I laugh at the idea that bunny ears is news. I know it's President Obama, but come on.

From Altavilla in his story for the Courant:

“President Obama’s a light-hearted guy,” Dolson said. “He was making jokes, cracking jokes at Coach [Geno Auriemma], even during his speech he was joking around. When we posed for the picture he turned around and kind of said, ‘Don’t go doing those bunny ears as a joke.’ Me, Kiah, and Stewie (Breanna Stewart) were like, ‘Should we do it?’ We took the nice pictures and then as a joke we put our fingers behind his ears. I thought it was funny. Overall, I thought it was a good time."

Obama found it funny. Geno Auriemma and Chris Dailey found it funny. Fox News obviously found it hilarious, yet there apparently are still people out there who think that Dolson and Stokes need to be punished for their actions.

So because some people thought it was a sign of disrespect, they feel the need to demand punishment? What gives them the right? That's basically going over Obama's head. Isn't that treason?

Let's get one thing straight: Stefanie Dolson is one of the funniest people you will ever meet. She is never afraid of being herself. She once found her way onto the big screen at a men's basketball game by performing a unique dance in the student section while rocking a UConn basketball top with zebra-striped pants. She is one of the ringleaders of all of the incredibly goofy things the women's team does, like this Call Me Maybe video. I would have been surprised if she didn't try to goof around with Obama.

And when have we ever known Obama to be completely serious when hosting a professional sports team? This isn't the Soviet Union. Smiling and laughing are things we encourage around here.

But still, the old-fashioned need to have their say, and that is why, according to Altavilla, UConn president Susan Herbst has been faced with phone calls demanding punishment.

Bottom line, leave Dolson and Stokes alone. They did nothing wrong. They represent the school in a first-class manner on a daily basis. There are enough college athletes making crucial mistakes off the field - these two aren't among them.