I may stand alone on this subject, but if so, then alone I stand.
It is my belief that B/R was established and is maintained for the purpose of allowing amateur writers to have a forum in which to hone their skills.
I don't believe visitors to this site intend on watching peeing contests between authors and those making comments.
I stumbled on an article just a moment ago and was appalled at what I read. Nothing resembling an article about a sport, an athlete, or a team. It was a rebuttal to a stream of profanities and slurs against an author who grew tired of being verbally assaulted.
I would like to ask a question: Is there a governing body at B/R who needs to address inflamed situations such as this? I read yesterday of a complete article which was deleted by someone apparently in an authority position, much to the dismay of one of the leading writers here at B/R.
There is a "flag as offensive" button (I know because I have used it, with positive results) alongside each and every comment. I realize it is hidden but if you mouse over it you can find it.
I have witnessed, first-hand, the assaults of weak-minded commentators who do not agree with what was said, so they automatically begin firing from the hip.
If I peruse an author's article, I either agree, disagree, or could care less about it. If I wish to address a particular point, I make a comment. If I don't like something that was written, I do not mean-mouth the author (of the article or comment).
Simply "walking away" from an article leaves nobody feeling pain. Like the old adage, "if you can't find something good to say about someone, say nothing at all."
I am primarily a baseball writer; however, I do know some other sports well enough to comment or write about them. When I write an article about a specific sport, I don't expect to have to "earn my wings" in that community by being assaulted verbally, cussed, or told to stop writing.
That has happened to me in both the boxing and MMA communities. There are plenty of decent writers in both those communities, but they are over-talked by less-knowledgeable commentators who can't back up their own arguments and feel an insult or good cussing is due to the "new" invader.
I would rather see no comments at all on an article, rather than 50 which are mostly negative, filled with guile and expletives I would not want my daughter to see. We need to remember that the ID's are not checked at the door. We are speaking to an Internet audience filled with men, women, children, and plenty of freaks.
I have used words I am not proud of, but I don't say it to an individual or about one.
If we desire to foster an environment where sports fans can come, drink a cup of coffee, and read about their favorite sport, teams, or athletes, without being verbally assaulted or cussed at, some changes need to be made.
If an author or commentator chooses to walk down the back alley of negativity, criticism, and obscene language on another individual, that person should be told to leave after one (and only one) warning.
Let's face it, fellow journalists, do we want B/R to become MySpace for sports?