Sport 'Disgusting and utterly unacceptable': Female athletes main target of online abuse during Tokyo Olympics
Chasing Gold: History-making Day 6 capped by Suni Lee's gymnatics all-around gold
There were several history-making moments Thursday in Tokyo, from Katie Ledecky's relay leg to Suni Lee's all-around gymnastics win.Let's start with swimming. All three teams that medaled in the women's 4x200 freestyle relay – China (gold), United States (silver) and Australia (bronze) – broke the world record previously set by the Aussies at the 2019 World Championships. Katie Ledecky anchored the race for the Americans, entering the water a full two seconds behind Chinese swimmer Li Bingjie and trailing Australia's Leah Neale.
World Athletics has found thatduring the Tokyo Olympics.
The study, published Thursday, also revealed that 65% of the abusive posts warrant intervention from the social media platforms and show "disturbing levels of abuse of athletes, including sexist, racist, transphobic and homophobic posts, and unfounded doping accusations," all at higher rates for female athletes in comparison to male athletes.
These findings follow the launch ofintended to "raise concerns that existing safeguarding measures on social media platforms need to be tougher to protect athletes."
Opinion: USA's last chance for Tokyo Olympics tennis medal, Tennys Sandgren has fans rooting against him
U.S. Olympic tennis player Tennys Sandgren understands that a lot of fans – American tennis fans – will be rooting for him to lose Friday in Tokyo.“To be fair, we probably shouldn’t even be playing,” Sandgren said, referring to himself and doubles partner Austin Krajicek, who only made the U.S. team because the highest-ranked American men decided that playing an ATP 250 event in Atlanta this week would be a better use of their time.
"When we published our Safeguarding Policy earlier this month, I said athletics clubs, schools and community sports environments should be safe and happy places for those in our sport," World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement.
World Athletics is the international governing body for the sports of athletics, covering track and field, cross country running, road running, racewalking, mountain running and ultra running.
“In a world where we share so much of our lives online, this must apply to the virtual, as well as the physical world," Coe continued. "This research is disturbing in so many ways but what strikes me the most is that the abuse is targeted at individuals who are celebrating and sharing their performances and talent as a way to inspire and motivate people. To face the kinds of abuse they have is unfathomable and we all need to do more to stop this. Shining a light on the issue is just the first step.”
Simone Biles makes mental health the talk of the Tokyo Games
TOKYO (AP) — Brittney Griner has long been open about her ongoing battle with depression, an ailment that triggered suicidal thoughts when she was younger and last year drove her out of the WNBA bubble because the isolation was too much to handle. Her own struggles made the U.S. women's basketball player feel deeply connected to Simone Biles for choosing her own well-being over sporting glory. Considered the best gymnast in the world, Biles pulled out of team competition in the middle of the event and then opted not to defend her 2016 gold medal in the all-around Thursday night at the Tokyo Games.
World Athletics tracked 161 Twitter handles of current and former athletes involved in the Tokyo Olympics starting one week prior to the Olympic opening ceremony and concluding the day after closing (July 15 – Aug. 9).
Using text analysis and AI-powered Natural Language processing,: homophobic, ableist, threat, corruption allegation, xenophobic, sexualization, transphobic, doping accusation, sexist and racist.
The study revealed the following:
- 132 targeted discriminatory posts from 119 authors, with 23 of the 161 tracked athletes receiving targeted abuse.
- Out of the 23 athletes who received abuse, 16 were women with 115 of the 132 identified abusive posts directed at female athletes.
- Female athletes received 87% of all abuse.
- 63% of identified abuse was directed at just two athletes – both black and female – while the two most common categories of abuse were of a sexist (29%) and/or racist (26%) nature, accounting for 55% of all identified abuse.
“The entire USATF community is grateful to World Athletics for conducting this vital survey which has confirmed unfortunately what we have all known for a long time: US athletes are disproportionately targeted for abuse and hate on social media," the CEO of USA Track & Filed, Max Siegel, commented.
Kaillie Humphries, world's best bobsledder, wants to compete for US at Beijing Olympics. Here's why she may not.
Kaillie Humphries won two Olympic gold medals for Canada, but has left the team amid verbal and mental abuse allegations and seeks US citizenship.It is fitting, then, that for her most recent one, Humphries chose the word “Strength,” etching it in bold, script letters across the back of her right leg, just above her knee. Strength is what has gotten her to where she is, both in the sport of bobsled, where she is the most successful female driver ever, and in life.
“Increasing evidence indicates that this is driven by a huge rise in prejudice against race, gender and social status," Siegel continued. "Simply put, this type of behavior is disgusting and utterly unacceptable. USATF remains committed to working alongside World Athletics, our athlete and constituent community, social media proprietors, the US Center for SafeSport and law enforcement to eliminate abuse and make our sport safe and welcoming for all.”
World Athletics says it will be conducting further research and has used this study's findings to introduce an Online Abuse Framework for its own social media channel, pledging to provide safer online environments for athletes that are free of abuse and harassment.
Contact Analis Bailey at email@example.com or on Twitter @.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Tokyo Games officially begin as Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron .
As COVID cases in host city hit six-month high, the relatively somber event marks the start of an Olympics clouded by the coronavirus.Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron atop a peak inspired by Mount Fuji, ending the flame's journey from Greece to Japan. The four-time Grand Slam winner dipped the flame in the cauldron to mark the formal start of the Games and fireworks filled the sky.