— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) April 27, 2016
Working as a writer tasked with reporting and commentary on fans’ beloved sports teams isn’t an easy job. espnW and ESPN Radio host Sarah Spain and fellow sports journalist Julie DiCaro demonstrated in a new PSA, called “#MoreThanMean,” that women in sports face an added challenge – social media abuse. Spain gave some insight into why she participated in the PSA, produced by her friend, Brad Burke:
“The topic is obviously one I’m very familiar with. When I retweet some of the abuse I get, people usually say, ‘just ignore it’ or, ‘don’t feed the trolls’,” said Spain. “While that’s an ideal choice most of the time, the implication there is that we have to internalize this harassment, take it all and not let it out – that we need to expect and accept abuse simply because we write or talk about sports for a living.”
Spain continued: “Even if I’m strong enough to read 99 awful things sent my way, maybe the 100th actually lands and hurts. Just because we know there are terrible, sad, unfulfilled, lonely, angry people out there spreading vitriol doesn’t mean we should just deal with it and not speak out. I knew that the idea Brad had would shine a different light on the topic. It’s one thing to read these awful words, but to say them aloud, and to hear them aloud, is completely different. While I don’t anticipate the terrible words to go away, I do hope that a continued conversation about civility, kindness and respect will trickle down to those who might be tempted to react otherwise.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The video below contains strong language.