Ladies in sports activities media face distinctive challenges within the occupation on a regular basis.
Sadly, considered one of these challenges is criticism and abuse from followers who do not respect a feminine sports activities perspective.
Becoming a member of ESPN as a play-by-play announcer for the 2021-22 NHL season, Leah Hextall contributed to the community’s return to hockey protection after a years-long hiatus.
Whereas her function as the primary lady to recurrently name play-by-play for nationally-televised NHL video games was celebrated by some — it was additionally met with heavy criticism from others.
Hextall addressed the abuse she confronted throughout her debut season in a latest interview with The Athletic.
“There simply doesn’t appear to be an finish to it,” she mentioned.
Hextall mentioned the messages she obtained over the past yr have been “Vile. Sexist. Misogynistic. And threatening.” She even highlighted an occasion the place a critic threatened to kill her.
“It mentioned, ‘You reside in Winnipeg. It wouldn’t be very onerous to trace you down,’” Hextall recounted throughout a convention earlier this summer time “‘And after I’m achieved with you, I’ll then put a gun in your mouth and blow out your brains so nobody has to listen to you name a hockey sport once more.’”
“That’s not one time. I’ve a full folder,” she continued.
Hextall mentioned she loves her job, however the fixed criticism and abuse is hard to take care of.
“I really like my job, and I really like what I used to be doing, however it was very troublesome this yr. It wasn’t enjoyable,” she mentioned, per The Athletic.” It wasn’t exhibiting as much as the rink and feeling like I used to be working in a sweet retailer, prefer it often would after I cowl hockey. … There was lots of, greater than something, psychological gymnastics to undergo. There was lots of criticism—not simply inside the social media viewers, but in addition inside the brethren of hockey—that I used to be not used to going through. And lots of it appeared to stem from my gender.”