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#MoreThanMean: The online harassment of women sports writers




Watch REAL guys read REAL comments made about sports reporters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro – to their face. These fans learn some tweets are #MoreThanMean – they’re harassment. Share this w/ hashtag #MoreThanMean to increase awareness about harassment of women in sports.

For more, hear an extended Just Not Sports podcast on the topic with columnist/broadcaster Julie DiCaro and Sports on Earth’s NFL writer Andrea Hangst. Find it on iTunes, Twitter (@JustNotSports) or on SoundCloud here: https://soundcloud.com/justnotsports
Watch REAL guys read REAL comments made about sports reporters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro – to their face. These fans learn some tweets are #MoreThanMean – they’re harassment. Share this w/ hashtag #MoreThanMean to increase awareness about harassment of women in sports. For more, hear an extended Just Not Sports podcast on the topic with columnist/broadcaster Julie DiCaro and Sports on Earth’s NFL writer Andrea Hangst. Find it on iTunes, Twitter (@JustNotSports) or on SoundCloud here: https://soundcloud.com/justnotsports
Just Not Sports (via YouTube)

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The Internet can be a pretty hateful space.

A place for trolls to hurl hateful words at all sorts of people...

Especially women who report on sports.

A new public service announcement titled hashtag More Than Mean aims to show just how ugly it can get.

In the video - several male sports fans read out real-life tweets about Julie Dicaro with Sports Illustrated and Sarah Spain with ESPN to the women themselves...

You can watch the video above, but a warning - the language got a bit rough.

Take Two's Alex Cohen was joined by the man who produced that video - Brad Burke is a sports marketing writer with the "Just Not Sports" podcast.

"In the process of producing the show and working in the [sports] industry, we have come across women who are just facing online harassment day in and day out," Burke said. "What we wanted to do... was to find a little bit more of an emotional way for the men to understand the power of these words."

Burke and his team told the sports fans- all male- about what they were going to be reading to the two women. It started out light-hearted enough (similar in tone to Jimmy Kimmel's regular segment 'Mean Tweets.').

But once the vulgarity and harshness of the tweets increased, it was clear that something had shifted in the shoot.

"The only way to describe it was the air got sucked out of the room," Burke said. "You could see them  squirm in their chair. You could see them break eye contact. Some laughed nervously like they were in trouble. [It] elicited a response that was ... emotional, was physical and very troubling to these guys."

Through it all, Dicaro and Spain sat unmoved.

"The dignity and the sort of self-confidence that they display in the video is a large reason for why it's resonated so much with people," Burke said. "They're not complaining. They're just saying, 'See what we're dealing with?'"

The "#MoreThanMean" video has already been seen by millions of people on Facebook and YouTube. Burke does not believe that the attitudes of every online troll, but he does hope the message behind the video does stick with some people

"For all the sensible sports fans... on Twitter, or online or on Reddit comment boards, I hope that maybe this makes them think about it a little bit more and ... maybe grow a little less numb to it," Burke said. "Perhaps that will enable guys who are on the fence to think of this as less than a game and think 'Hey there's a human being on the other side of this. Do I really need to say these things about a sports team or a game or their opinions on it?'"

To hear the full conversation, click the blue player above.