So far the theme of this week seems to be internet trolls, the cowardly people who hide behind their computer and make hateful comments to total strangers. I try and tell myself to ignore these people, but sometimes that is impossible and the more I think about it, we shouldn't ignore them. We should fight back.
If you want to get me super, super angry make me read a bunch of social media posts about female athletes on ESPN's social platforms. Something people may not know about me is that I am a huge jock.
I am particularly passionate about Broncos football and men's and women's UCONN basketball. UCONN is of course the best women's basketball franchise the world has ever seen. But I'm not here today to write about their dominance;) I am here to write about the disgusting display of humanity that plays out in the comments section on social media.
Now we all know trolls love to live behind their keyboard writing despicable things behind the veil of anonymity. But I feel like it is especially bad when it has to do with women's sports. espnW created a really powerful video where they had men read real "mean Tweets" to 2 of female sportswriters. The men had trouble reading the vulgar nature of many of the Tweets, see the video below...
This of course does not stop with sportswriters. The athletes themselves are bombarded with hate every time a photo of women's sports is posted. Whether the men are commenting on race, size, or looks the comments are so fueled with anger and hate it always takes me aback. Who are these men? Men who are so pissed off at women they have never met? Women who have dedicated their lives to being great at their chosen sport.
I will admit to furiously flagging comments for hate speech and vulgarity when I see certain comments on Instagram. Obviously I can't be the one woman Instagram police, but it really makes me furious. Female athletes deserve respect. You want to talk crap about their game? How they missed a shot? Go for it. But attacking someone's looks or making sexual comments towards them or other discriminatory remarks is gross.
I hope watching this video can make other men aware that this is happening and how hurtful it can be. I also hope it makes men and women stand up against the trolls. Just ignoring their ignorant comments really doesn't do anything, but fighting back or helping to silence them all together just might.
If you see sexist, homophobic, or just plain disturbing comments I just urge you to DO SOMETHING to make people realize these comments are #MoreThanMean.