Twitter is a place that can get you fired faster than it can get you hired. Sports Illustrated writer Andy Benoit is now learning that hard fact when he tweeted some pretty dumb statements during the Women’s World Cup and about women’s sports in general.
In the first instance of a now-deleted tweet, Benoit seems *really* comfortable saying the following:
He has definitely had this barbershop conversation before. Numerous times. But everyone says or does something dumb once in the life. Maybe not in a public setting but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt…
But then Benoit followed it up with this:
Both of these tweets have since been deleted, hence the screenshots. And they’ll probably result in an evening chat with the boss, but is there validity to his statements?
On one hand, Benoit is right. Women’s sports don’t get the revenue or ratings of men’s sports.
But on the other side of the coin, the media controls what people are informed about and Benoit is a member of the media. (For those who haven’t watched the documentary Miss Representation, it’s both fascinating and sad to see the methods the media has used to manipulate entire generations in ethics and how we treat one another.)
If for generations the media are mostly white males, by nature, they’re going to talk about what appeals to a white male. And for years, this demographic hasn’t held women’s sports, or women in general, in the highest regards of respect outside of objectification.
When less people know about a sport, there aren’t as many eyes on it. When there are less eyes on a product, advertisers don’t throw money around to be associate with your product.
Media talk about it –> People show up –> Spend money –> Advertisers show up –>More media talks about it –> More people show up –> Make more money
This is a vicious cycle that can change a little over time as we become a more progressive society, but as you can see with media guys like Benoit, it’s going to take some time.
Since the tweets have now been deleted, perhaps a man talented enough to earn a gig at Sports Illustrated learned the hard way not to call professional athletes “unwatchable” simply because of their gender.
Just imagine… "All Jewish athletes aren't worth watching."
But if women are the ones being derided & disrespected, people shrug.
— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) June 23, 2015