A few words can get you in a lot of trouble.
For AL.com, the website for a trio of Alabama newspapers, it took just three: “especially for women.”
The lead sentence in a story about an upcoming charity event called “Girls of Fall,”
which offers women football pointers and tailgating tips, originally included the phrase:
Football can be a confusing and often vexing concept, especially for women.
Now, those last three words are gone, and an editor’s note has been added to the bottom of the article. The note reads, “This story has been edited to remove incorrect and offensive assumptions about women and football. We apologize for the error in judgment.”
David Holloway, a food writer for AL.com and the writer of the article, said this in the comments of the story:
The “Girls of Fall” event is not geared toward those women who are experts in football, but those who are not but want to learn more. We apologize for offending readers. The story has been edited in response to the feedback we’ve received.
He also defended himself, saying he is not a misogynist. Commenters disagreed.
“My tiny, feeble female mind has a hard time understanding how this article was published,” said one.
Another commenter, Elizabeth Spiers, responded directly to Holloway’s defense of himself:
Football is only “confusing and vexing” to people with room temperature IQs. Nuclear physics it is not. But the even dumber implication that women somehow find it “especially” confusing and vexing is absolutely misogynist.
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AL.com is the website for three newspapers: The Birmingham News
, The Huntsville Times
, and the Press-Register