Stephanie’s stance: Men read mean tweets to female sports reporters

STEPHANIE COMPTON; Sports Editor: comptose@plu.edu

Female sports reporters are being harassed online. In a recent viral video, innocent men are tasked with reading negative tweets about female sports reporters to female sports reporters. The video is a moving PSA about the kind of verbal abuse women in sports receive on a daily basis.

The short video titled #MoreThanMean was made by a group called “Not Just Sports” and features two female sports journalists: Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro.

Sarah Spain is a Cornell alum that currently hosts a radio show for ESPN. She has also worked for Fox Sports and ChicagoNow Radio. Julie DiCaro currently writes for Sports Illustrated with a focus on football. They are successful journalists in sports and they work for two of the most powerful sports networks in the country.

“Sarah Spain sounds like a nagging wife on TV today” –Tweet read on #MoreThanMean

For the video, Spain and DiCaro individually sit across a handful of men, none of which have read the mean tweets. Spain and DiCaro had read the tweets before the video was made. In the video, the men read the tweets off of phones and tablets.

The tweets start out as normal negative comments, claiming that the writers are boring or hard to listen to. The tweets begin to become violent and abusive, telling Spain that she should be “…beat to death with a hockey stick.” The sad part about the video is that that is not the worst comment that is made.

The most powerful part of the video is the reactions of the men who read the tweets. Every single man struggles with the words they are being told to read ,and a few even apologize to the reporters.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF YOUTUBE Sarah Spain, ESPN journalist feautred in the video #MoreThanMean
PHOTOS COURTESY OF YOUTUBE
Sarah Spain, ESPN journalist feautred in the video #MoreThanMean

About a quarter of the video is uncomfortable silence, caused by the men pleading to stop reading the tweets. One man even states that he cannot look at Sarah Spain as he reads these horrible things to her. Spain and DiCaro sadly do not seem moved by the words they hear;.They have heard them many times before.

The video is well made and reaches out to audiences: men, women, sports fans, equality activists and every single internet user. Not a single person can walk away from this video without feeling sick. The group that made this video runs a weekly podcast, and follow up the video with an hour long podcast.

To see the video, search #MoreThanMean on youtube. The video now has over three million hits after only a week online.

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