Posted by: uommjdm | November 4, 2015

Double Standards In Sports Coverage – Gender Bias

I was perusing Facebook this morning, and what should appear in my feed? A viral video about double standards in sports coverage.

At first blush, I was mildly irritated because the article that led me to the video was entitled, “This video shows male athletes getting asked the same absurd questions as female athletes,” which is not exactly true. The offending questions are dubbed over the ones that were actually asked to make it appear as if the athletes were reacting to trivial inquiries. For reference, here is the raw footage of Russell Westbrook’s post-game interview from 2014 (apologies for the expletive).

Now, does this take away from the message? I would argue that it does not, though the entertainment site that picked it up gently misrepresented the content to aid in spreading it. The importance of addressing gender bias remains, and the video (garnering 350K views in six days) increases awareness. Reporting imbalance is ubiquitous in American media, permeating sports, politics, entertainment, and the like. I found it especially interesting, given the discussion Jordan started in class on Monday.

Let’s talk about this. What are your thoughts?

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Responses

  1. This is a great post and example, uommjdm. My thoughts followed yours exactly as I was reading your post. We both agree that the creators of this clip were disingenuous in dubbing questions in time with reactions to other questions in order to fit their agenda. However, I’d like to know what your thoughts are on whether or not someecards is also “taking away from the message” in their framing of the title of the link that leads to the video? You clicked on the link because you expected one thing, but what you found was something else. I argue that someecards description is equally as deceptive as the content creators dubbing behavior.

    The reason they have to dub in the first place is because these types of questions ARE NOT widely asked of professional athletes. However someecards is very obviously using “loaded language” (“absurd” is a very deliberate and emotive choice of word) to compel its audience to go for the clickbait. This type of persuasive language technique is the video actually is incredibly useful for making content more likely to be spread. But I digress…

    On one hand I’m torn because chances are this piece wouldn’t receive nearly as many clicks if it were titled “Dubbed video shows male athletes getting asked the same absurd questions as female athletes.” On the other hand I think it’s dishonest of someecards to push an arguably spurious video in order to get clicks (money). So does the actions of both of these players take away from the message? Begrudgingly, I say no, and ask where is the line drawn with this?

  2. This reminds me of a recent interview I saw with Serena Williams. The journalist asked her why she wasn’t smiling- which doesn’t seem like a relevant question, and one that wouldn’t be asked of a male athlete. Here response was honest and appropriate: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/09/serena-williams-had-the-perfect-answer-to-a-reporter-who-asked-her-why-she-wasnt-smiling

  3. And then just to put a smile on everyone’s faces:


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