I'd like to think the New York Rangers learned something Friday: don't anger the female hockey contingent (players, media, fans, etc), because you will lose.
Friday afternoon, the Rangers' official twitter account (@NYRangers) tweeted a link to the "Girls Guide to Watching the Rangers." Twitter erupted and the tweet and post were gone shortly after the tweet went out.
Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated grabbed the screenshots below before the Rangers pulled the post.
The article was the first of Blueshirts United's Contributer Network and was written by Mirna Mandil, who says she is "not going to fake an alpha-male level obsession with a sport" but that living in New York, she can't avoid the Rangers.
"News of the NHL lockout's end caused as much excitement in the male world as a 70 percent off sale does in a woman's," she writes. "If you're completely oblivious to what the end of the lockout means, think of it as the premiere of the newest season of ‘Girls’ being delayed by months, and then suddenly, it's announced that it will be coming back but with a lot fewer episodes to make up for lost time."
So Mandil lays out four easy steps for girls watching the Rangers:
1. "They're EXPECTING You to Ask Questsions... just know when to do it." Mandil says to hold your questions for a penalty or other whistle.
2. "Get to Know the Rangers" by checking out the roster.
3. "Get to know Goalie Henrik Lundqvist"
4. "Congratulations" Mandil writes that she achieved her goal because none of her male hockey-fan friends said they didn't want her watching the game with them.
As a female sports journalist, and a female hockey fan before that, I cannot believe a NHL team would post this to its website. I might expect this from Bleacher Report or Barstool Sports, but not a NHL website.
Women make up a large portion of the NHL fan base, a fan base none of which the league probably should be alienating after its third lockout, and are the fastest growing demographic.
Now, I'm all for teaching fans about hockey, but must they assume all girls need the guide? When I tweeted about the post, someone responded to me that it would have come in handy for his ex-girlfriend who knew little about hockey. Fair enough. But it's not just women who might need a hockey primer. My ex-boyfriend could barely identify a puck and he is a guy.
People often seem to think that because things like this are written by a woman, they are OK. That's not the case. It's still sexist to suggest that all women find sports an unavoidable chore, even if a woman does it.
I know of one group of women who chose the Phantoms-Devils game for their "ladies' night" on Friday. I don't think they thought it was a chore.
There are many women who came before me in the sports journalists world and there are many working alongside me (if not always literally).
There are women hockey players paving the way now into professional sports (see the Canadian Women's Hockey League, which reaches into the States as well).
This post is an insult to all of them.
The Rangers can do better than perpetuating the stereotype that women aren't into sports. I'd like to see them do something like host a ladies' night at MSG this season to make up for it.
Do they serve mimosas at these "games"??? twitter.com/SI_sarahkwak/s…— Sarah Kwak (@SI_sarahkwak) January 25, 2013
Um, those jerseys aren't very figure flattering... twitter.com/SI_sarahkwak/s…— Sarah Kwak (@SI_sarahkwak) January 25, 2013
Oh, he's hot. OK. I'll stay... but only if he takes off the mask. twitter.com/SI_sarahkwak/s…— Sarah Kwak (@SI_sarahkwak) January 25, 2013
That's it? Oh... OK! Time to cuddle! twitter.com/SI_sarahkwak/s…— Sarah Kwak (@SI_sarahkwak) January 25, 2013