“Unprofessional.” “Misogynistic.” “Sexist.” “Disrespectful.” These are all words that have been used to describe Barstool Sports. A quick look of their website will explain why Barstool Sports has been charged with promoting a toxic culture by numerous professional news organizations.
Explicative article titles such as “Ohio Colleges Are Trying to Ban Gambling on Ohio Sports Because They Are All Dumb as Shit” and “Kentucky’s Punter Called His Own Fake Punt Against Missouri — Got The First Down And All He Wanted Was A Goddamn Beer” exhibit the publication’s fearlessness when it comes to being highly critical of various topics. Many of their writers frequently throw in cuss words to get their point across in their articles. Whether this literary tactic shows off their passion for what they’re writing about is undetermined, but it does come off as distasteful and sometimes discredits the good points the authors actually make.
If you were to further look around their website you may stumble onto one of their “Smokeshow of the Day” articles where they provide multiple photographs of whatever Instagram baddie they find attractive that day. If you don’t think that’s bad, they also have an entire separate tab dedicated to the content their female writers that’s simply labeled “Chicks.” The fact that they even segregate the content provided by their female staff from the front page work of the male writers is alarming in itself. By clicking on the chicks tab you would be confronted with their slogan: “One of the boys, all for the girls.” Without completely deciphering what this cryptic message means, it seems as though that Barstool’s culture of extreme masculinity permeates through even the female staff member’s content.
If Barstool’s own employees and hierarchy weren’t sexist enough, Barstool also associates themselves with equally problematic content creators. “To Sophia.You’re like a girl, but kind of slutty. It’s okay though.” That is an excerpt from a “poem” that Logan Paul, the YouTuber who filmed dead bodies and posted it for all his young, impressionable viewers to see, wrote and performed on a segment of Stool Scenes, one of Barstool Sports’ vlog styled YouTube shows. Just last year, the site hired Michael McCarthy, former of TakeAReport.com and writer of such drivel as, “Although I’m pretty sure you don’t condone the drugging and subsequent raping of female bar inhabitants, haven’t you at one time or another considered what would happen with the right girl and the right mix of vodka and chloroform?” Only the best and brightest for the site.
There is no denying that there’s a subsection of sports fans that enjoy partaking in what can be considered “locker-room talk.” These fans are the ones that can usually be found shouting expletives at the players on the sidelines. These are the guys that can be found banging on the walls of the ice hockey rink trying to egg on fights. These are the fathers, uncles and sons that fully, truly believe that Saturdays are for the boys and Sundays are for sitting in the Lay-Z-Boy while their wives hand-deliver ice cold Natty Lights to them as they can not bare to look away from the television screen in case they miss a chance to insult a team member for missing a catch. This is Barstool Sports’ main demographic, along with the thousands of college students that follow their school’s respective accounts for personalized sports commentary and embarrassing videos of classmates.
Our first mistake is assuming that Barstool Sports is posing as a professional sports outlet. Much like Buzzfeed, Barstool Sports does not follow the traditional rules of journalism, and tends to write toward more clickbait titles and subjects that will attract their readers. This is how Barstool continues to thrive as a politically incorrect publication during the rise of more politically correct media. The downside of this is that Barstool Sports massively adds to the already dangerously misogynistic world of sports. They add onto a narrative that makes it nearly impossible for female sports reporters to do their jobs without receiving harassment and degrading comments. Furthermore, the women who contribute to this publication perpetuate the same rhetoric that puts women down. The second that Barstool is accused of being misogynistic they immediately point to their female staff members, yet they barely allow their stories to hit the front page. So if they were not sexist, Saturdays would be for the boys and everyday would be for respecting women through their coverage.