On a Thursday night last September, then CBS sports columnist Julie DiCaro was just doing her job, reporting on an investigation into a professional athlete’s alleged sexual assault and tweeting out the latest developments as she learned them.
Soon, she began to receive threats and hate messages. One user tweeted that she “need[ed] to be hit in the head with a hockey puck” and “killed.” She was forced to stay away from her office the next day, in fear for her life.
DiCaro is not alone. Female sportswriters across the industry face a unique stain of harassment, which often takes shape in violent, virulent, truly abhorrent language.
To call attention to the issue and, hopefully, take a step toward its cessation, the team at the podcast “Just Not Sports” recently produced and pushed out a video in which men sit face-to-face with female sportswriters and read aloud the “mean” tweets the women have received. By doing so, the men “are forced to experience, sometimes for the first time, the shocking online harassment happening to women in sports day in, day out.”
The video is difficult to get through, but well worth the watch. The anonymity of the Internet has, for far too long, handed too much power to faceless harassers. It’s 2016. Something needs to change.
As the video says, these women are berated and threatened online “just for doing their jobs.” And if we “wouldn’t say it to their faces," then "let’s not type it.”