Target: ESPN Inc. President John Skipper
Goal: Fire the ESPN commentator who said that the rape charges against a basketball star gave him “sizzle”
In discussing the sexual assault charges filed against basketball legend Kobe Bryant in 2003, ESPN commentator Skip Bayless remarked that the accusations against him gave him “sizzle” and “edge,” whereas before the charges he was too clean cut to be interesting. Bayless is a very popular commentator on a high-profile ESPN show, First Take, meaning that millions of people heard this comment on how committing sexual assault makes you edgy and hip.
The world of professional US sports has long had a serious problem with violence against women, whether it’s sexual assault or domestic violence. And the TV personalities who support these athletes have not done women any favors with their constant excuses for this horrible behavior. Bayless’s comment is especially awful as it sends the message that being accused of sexual assault makes you cool. Young men across the country are influenced by this man, and he just told them that they can become more interesting by assaulting a woman.
This is not the first time that Bayless has been called out for supporting rape culture with his words. It’s time to take him off the air. By signing this petition, you’ll demand that Skip Bayless be fired from his position and replaced with someone who understands that committing sexual assault does not make you “sizzle” – it makes you a criminal.
Dear President Skipper,
Recently, popular sports commentator on First Take Skip Bayless remarked that the sexual assault charges filed against Kobe Bryant made him “sizzle” and gave him an “edge” that made advertisers and fans alike pay attention to him. He was basically suggesting that being accused of sexual assault makes you more interesting and noticeable.
I don’t think I need to explain why this is a harmful comment. As you should be aware, millions of men and boys across the country watch this show and possibly look up to Bayless. Promoting the idea that sexually assaulting a woman makes you more “edgy” is extremely dangerous. We already have a problem in our society with young boys thinking that harming women is cool or funny.
This is not the first time that Skip Bayless has made or supported comments on his show that support violence against women and the kind of thinking that perpetuates it. Enough is enough. You need to show that you care about the lives and well-being of women by firing this man and replacing him with someone who doesn’t think that sexually assaulting women makes you edgier. For once, show you that you consider women to be more important than your profits.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jeff Kern via Flickr