Female sportswriters all across the world are subjected to online harassment, derogatory remarks and threats of violence purely for doing their jobs and working in a male-dominated industry.
The life of sports journalist Julie DiCaro and ESPN radio host and columnist Sarah Spain is no different.
In a provocative new campaign to highlight just how malicious the online harassment of women can be, radio podcast Just Not Sports has released a video featuring regular men, not actors, reading mean tweets to female sportscasters.
The brutal footage shows men squirm and tear up as they read “More Than Mean” tweets sent to DiCaro and Spain. Although none of the men had actually made those comments online, they could not help feeling uncomfortable or stop themselves from saying sorry.
“One of the players should beat you to death with their hockey stick,” read one tweet.
The video is hard to get through, but this is what the reality is like for women making a living in sports industry.
“I hope your dog gets hit by a car,” read another social media post.
While the video starts with silly and comparatively harmless insults (what is a scrub muffin?), it soon enters a disturbing territory where online users threaten the journalists with violence and rape.
“My Just Not Sports co-hosts and I all work in sports in different areas, so we see the terrible online harassment women sports journalists face,” campaign founder Brad Burke said in a statement. “Women reporters speak out on this issue courageously, but we wanted to find a new way to make guys see and experience the effects of online harassment.”
It is annoying, frightening, humiliating and disappointing all at once. Hopefully, this video will make trolls think twice about their words before the post them online. A real person is always at the other end of the hate-filled messages sent out.
Watch the harrowing PSA in the video above.