Modern Manners Guy explains the recent controversy over Twitter bullies who targeted actress Ashley Judd. Since when is it a crime for a woman to talk sports?
Unless you live under a rock in Antarctica (do they have rocks there?), you've probably heard about a little event called March Madness - the annual basketball tournament to crown the new leader of collegiate hoops.
From current students to alumni who haven’t cheered for their team since they used a fake ID to score dollar beers at the local college dive bar, this time of year everyone is a fan of college basketball. One very proud fan in particular is the amazingly talented actress, Ashley Judd, who regularly cheers for her Kentucky Wildcats.
Like any loyal other fan, she often tweets about her team. On one occasion, during the SEC Championship game against Arkansas, she posted a tweet calling the Razorbacks out for a "dirty play." The tweet became bigger than the game. Apparently many male fans did not enjoy a woman talking sports against their team and expressed themselves like drunk hooligans. A barrage of tweets poured out at Ashley, calling her a variety of revolting names and some even threatening rape. Classy, right?
I wonder what would happen if Ashton Kutcher tweeted a “dirty play” comment against the Lakers? Or Jerry Seinfeld commented on a bad pitch at a Yankees game? Do you think anyone would threaten them? Not likely. But when a successful, beautiful, educated woman decides to share her opinion, it’s perfectly OK to turn vile and threaten her. How on earth is this allowed?
What we have here is the epitome sexist sports fans who can’t handle a woman speaking up about “their game.” I’m not sure what bothers these guys more - the fact that Judd is more successful than them, or that she can name more players on their team then they can? Or maybe what bothers them most of all is that she’s probably right.
Although I'm a big fan of freedom of speech, I’m not a big fan of the freedom to be an absolute jerk. Sure, everyone has an opinion, but there is a very thick line between saying what’s on your mind and threatening someone with bodily harm, let alone on Twitter for the world to see. (Twitter is public - hello!)
It's no surprise that Judd plans to press charges against these online bullies.
Here’s the deal sports fans: You're not defending your team by attacking someone else’s views, nor are you proving your allegiance by standing on a misogynistic soapbox to villify anyone that believes something different than you. The only thing you’re doing is being an immature coward hiding behind your keyboard. Let's face it, if Ashley Judd walked up to you right now, and stared you in the face, the last thing you would do is to threaten her. Something tells me you'd turn red in the face, apologize, and walk away like the brat you are.
For the sake of sports fans and good guys across the world, I hope these hooligans are brought to justice.
What do you think of this situation? Share your opinion in Comments below or via Twitter @MannersQDT (just be civil, please).