The New York Times Arts section Twitter account shared a tone-deaf tweet this afternoon. The tweet included a link to an article about the new Fox baseball-themed show called Pitch. The show stars Kylie Bunbury as a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. "How will 'Pitch' cater to the hard-core baseball fan expecting authenticity while still appealing to women?" the message read.
Did you pick up on that subtle, sexist subtext? Are they saying that "hard-core baseball fan" and "women" are mutually exclusive terms? Not so fast, said some hard-core baseball fans. Oh, yeah, who just happen to be women. Images started popping up all over Twitter using the hashtag #WhatABaseballFanLooksLike. "Might surprise you? It shouldn't," said one woman. As for the article itself, ironically enough, it discusses how the show will deal with sexism in the sports world. But, alas, it is the sexist spring from which the tweet sprung. "And how will it cater to the hard-core baseball fan expecting authenticity while still appealing to women, whom Fox is depending on for much of its viewership?" writes John Koblin. Let's hope the shows creators do a better job addressing the issue. Paris Barclay, one of the shows executive producers, likened the baseball context to a "Trojan Horse" designed to pull in viewers who will, hopefully for him, stay for the larger issues about women's roles in society at large. We remain, as they say, cautiously optimistic. In the meantime, you can scroll through the images below to check out some hard-core baseball fans for yourself.