Men’s Health Magazine offends with tweet about female sports fans

The magazine apologized after a social media firestorm regarding an article and tweet suggesting ways men can discuss sports with women.

It’s been said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but that same fury exists when women are told they don’t like to watch sports.

That was the lesson Men’s Health learned after tweeting a link to an article titled “The secret to talking sports with any woman” Monday night. The tweet received quite a backlash from female sports fans as well as men who thought it, and the article, were misogynistic.

The article, which has since been deleted, read:

Not all women share your passion for sports, in case you hadn’t noticed. The reason? They need story lines.

“Most women don’t care about stats,” says Andrei Markovits, Ph.D., coauthor of Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States. So while you’re enthusing about Dominic Moore’s scoring record, she’d rather hear about how he supported his wife’s battle with cancer—and even took a season off from the NHL at the height of his career. Treat your heroes as people and not just players on a field, and you’ll suck her in.

Just don’t expect her to wear the foam finger.


The article was not only offensive, but also inaccurate: A 2011 Nielsen study found that more than a third of the more than 14 million people who watch major sporting events such as the NBA Finals, Daytona 500, and World Series are women.

“I don’t think people realize how big a percentage is women,” Nielsen Vice President Stephen Master told Forbes.

The numbers are rising, as well. Bleacher Report shared some statistical eye-openers last year: Women make up nearly half of sports fans from the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, and MLB, and more than 60 percent of females watch sports regularly.

No wonder the online community got angry.

The tweet was removed with the following apology shortly after Twitter fury rose:

The Los Angeles Times reported that @MensHealthMag got more than 4,800 mentions within a two-hour period Monday night, most from either outraged readers or those angered after picking up on the developing social media debacle.

Some commenters even gave Men’s Health Magazine suggestions for the post as well as future articles:

It might do well for the magazine to take these suggestions for heart. At the very least, it could help the publishers avoid further social media firestorms.

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