By John Russo
I love the Philadelphia Inquirer as much as the next person in this area and in fact, my goal as a sports writer is to work for the Inqy as a beat writer for one of their four major sports.
But seeing an article like the one I’m about to talk about really takes back the high standards I view the paper on, mainly for the editor’s lack of judgment on letting this garbage run.
The article is titled, “Female fans turned on by the Phils,” and was written by Amy S. Rosenberg. Before I continue, I don’t know what kind of writer she is nor am I going to say she’s a bad writer. Just that this type of article is a disgrace to the female fan base.
In her article, she uses sex appeal as her angle. But what’s bad about the article is that it lists a ton of examples of women who actually love the game and got into baseball because of their father’s influence or other family members. Hell, even one fan takes score at every game she attends, a dying art form but a truly unique way to take in a game (I still do this as well).
So how did 90% of the examples Rosenberg listed turn into a sex appeal? She basically sold out the entire female demographic in Phillies Nation and made them all appear as a bunch of ditzy idiots who love Jayson Werth’s butt and Chase Utley’s looks.
Another bad vibe I got from this article is how far it just set back the female fan base. There are some incredible fans out there of the opposite sex.
“In Rosenberg’s defense, a girl did say she picks her favorite player based on how he looks,” said Jessica Quiroli, a freelance baseball writer, on her Twitter account (@heelsonthefield). “There are girls that do. And I don’t consider them sports fans, or baseball fans. They’re enjoying what they can from it. But they don’t represent the millions of women who love sports and follow it just as the men do. Articles like this only add to the perception. By giving non-fans like that a platform it takes away from the true female fans.”
As a journalism major with a lot of female friends in the department at Rowan University, it makes the job as a female sports writer a little bit harder. How can they expect the entire sports world to take their opinion seriously if they are still being perceived as not knowing anything about the game and see the athletes they cover as heart-throbs.
By having garbage like this published in a paper that has a top-ten readership in the nation is a disgrace to journalism and is irresponsible as a writer and as an organization.
We need to re-evaluate how we approach stories with a sensative subject and a bias to one side, making sure to neither enhance nor lower it’s perception to the rest of the world. Rosenberg failed at doing so and she needs to make sure it doesn’t happen again.