Live television can be a difficult product to deliver, especially when the realm is a college football Game Day and networks are tasked with capturing the atmosphere of a given campus. ESPN finds itself in hot water after not only broadcasting footage of a fan holding a controversial poster, but also tweeting the poster from the College GameDay official Twitter account.
The sign in question reads: “OLE MISS GIRLS ARE EASIER THAN THEIR OUT OF CONFERENCE SCHEDULE.”
Some people found ESPN’s decision to publicize the sign to be an insensitive gesture, and took to Twitter to criticize the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports” for providing the fan a platform.
Below, you can see some of the backlash ESPN received. Perhaps most notably, an ESPN publicist has defended the network’s broadcast and tweet of the sign.
“Our Twitter handle looks to bring the sights and sounds of the College GameDay experience to the viewer at home and reflect how the fans on site express themselves,” said spokeswoman Keri Potts, according to CNN.
Just no chill. pic.twitter.com/Hn0fWwL9gF
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 19, 2015
@CollegeGameDay Hi this is gross and misogynistic and not even original so do you maybe have a better sign to show me?
— sarah (@thesarahkelly) September 19, 2015
Ha ha I get it because women are lower than men and sexuality is only for men and rape is funny very cool very cool @CollegeGameDay
— THE LEGO COUCH GUY (@ironghazi) September 19, 2015
@CollegeGameDay Utterly classless and embarrassing to feature this sign. What does this say about your brand? Integrity? Views on women?
— Emily Wright (@EmilyCello) September 19, 2015
— Kelly (@AuburnKelly) September 19, 2015
In the spirit of Potts’ statement, another Twitter user shared the sentiments of ESPN’s stance on the controversy.
— Trawdaddy (@TRAWWW_15) September 19, 2015