Sports website slammed for tweet mocking Flint water crisis
The Barstool Sports Ohio State University Twitter account posted the image on Saturday in support of the university’s football team, who played University of Michigan that day. It shows a group of fans with a banner reading, “Michigan Girls: More Diseased Than Flint Water.” The tweet reads, “Truth.”
Social media users were quick to criticize the account for sharing the photo, calling it sexist and inappropriate.
.@BarstoolOSU Delete your account.— David Gorski (@gorskon) November 27, 2016
@BarstoolOSU this is a terrible post on multiple levels, and you should rectify it.— Annoying Cubs Fan (@TimBaffoe) November 28, 2016
@BarstoolOSU absolutely disgusting. How fucking dare you celebrate this? Mock the players/coaches/fans but this is fucking ignorant. Shame!— Tim Static™ (@Tim_Static) November 27, 2016
Flint has suffered a water crisis since April 2014 when its water supply was switched to Flint river water to save money, leaving the town with contaminated water as pipes leaked lead into the supply.
After discovering the water was contaminated, officials chose to cover it up and continued to allow its residents to consume the water. Residents have been exposed to lead poisoning and cases of Legionnaires' Disease have increased.
Others informed the account that the Flint Michigan water is not diseased, but contaminated by lead.
@BarstoolOSU Didn't realize Lead is a disease.— Tyler (@Tyler_Gr) November 26, 2016
@BarstoolOSU making jokes about people being poisoned by their drinking water and ignored by our government? Delete you account.— FUCK YOU NAZI SCUM (@coeurdartichaut) November 26, 2016
People found the banner to be lacking empathy and in poor taste, given the people of Flint’s long struggle with undrinkable water.
@BarstoolOSU Humanitarian issues are funny af obvs.— Kevin Smith (@kevinbsmith_) November 26, 2016
For some, the disparaging claim that women in Michigan are diseased was the most offending element of the tweet.
@BarstoolOSU As both an OSU alum and the father of a daughter, I find that sign abhorrent, and your retweeting it makes it worse.— Bradley Bethel (@BradleyBethel) November 28, 2016
@BarstoolOSU Wow. I'm ashamed of those girls.— katherine Rollins (@Kathrn) November 27, 2016
Two people pointed out that in fact, STD rates in Ohio were higher than in Michigan.
A lot of commenters called for the tweet to be deleted, but their requests have gone unheeded.
@BarstoolOSU This is shameful. As a proud graduate who has worked proudly with the people of Flint, I request that it be deleted.— dcroth (@dcroth) November 28, 2016
delete this @BarstoolOSU— nba draft dodger (@AllezLesBoulez) November 26, 2016
The Barstool Sports website has not yet commented on the issue.