This Video of Men Reading Mean Tweets to Women in Sports Media Is Painful To Watch

Don’t be like this, guys.

Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro are sportswriters who happen to be women, which means when trolls attack them online, they do so in particularly vicious fashion. To demonstrate the point, the two of them teamed up with Just Not Sports to a video in which a group of men read shitty tweets sent to Spain and DiCaro by shitty men. We should emphasize: The dudes in the video are not the ones who sent the tweets. That’ll be obvious, but it’s worth noting. 

Look, it’s no newsflash that misogynist keyboard warriors are out there spouting venom online. But there’s a difference between knowing something exists and confronting it. And there’s a big difference between insulting someone behind an egg avatar and doing it to their face. The men in the video, completely innocent of any wrong doing, can’t even bring themselves to say some of this shit out loud.

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Online abuse isn’t a problem unique to sports journalism, but it does seem to hit women in the profession particularly hard. Stephen A. Smith gets calls a “dumbass” and Spain and DiCaro are threatened with rape. Not quite the same. It’s not hard to imagine why women take more hits. Legions of frustrated sexists think they own sports. They lash out at women who dare take an interest, much less make a career in the games they love. If those women dare report on complicated issues like Patrick Kane’s rape allegations, as DiCaro did, they’re besieged with attacks. 

Perhaps this whole exercise would have been more powerful if the miscreants who sent the tweets were ferreted out of their hovels to read the insults themselves. Not that it would never happen. The super power of Twitter bullies is anonymity, and they’d never give that up.