Does Sportscasters’ Mockery of Selfie-Takers Highlight a Generational Divide?

Digital-era sports writers and feminists push back

Several members of Arizona State University's Alpha Chi Omega sorority have gone viral after their selfie-a-thon during the Arizona Diamondbacks game Wednesday night, but they're using their Internet fame to support a good cause.

The Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1, but the students stole the show when Fox Sports Arizona broadcasters Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume dedicated a significant, now-viral portion of the broadcast to poking fun at the situation.

The girls were more concerned with taking the perfect selfie than watching a meaningless, end-of-season baseball game between two teams that are completely out of playoff contention. The preoccupied fans were first noticed during a T-Mobile promo for the Data Strong Fan Of The Game when Berthiaume said "maybe they'll tweet us their fan photo."

Berthiaume went on to say: "Look at the one on the right. Do you have to make faces when you take selfies?" After imitating the girl with a series of odd noises, the broadcasters mockingly said, "that's the best one of the 300 pictures I've taken myself today."

The telecast cut away from the sorority sisters to show baseball on occasion, but continued to mock the girls in between pitches. "Here's my first bite of the churro. Here's my second bite of the churro," Brenly said.

A 30-second clip of Brenly and Berthiaume mocking the girls was posted on the Diaondbacks official Facebook page and has been viewed 2.9 million times and shared 24,444 times in less than 48 hours.

Fox Sports Arizona and the Diamondbacks reached out to the sorority Thursday afternoon to offer them free tickets to another game, but they declined and asked that the team provide the tickets to A New Leaf, an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.

Sports blog SB Nation has questioned whether the announcers' selfie shaming alienates younger fans, calling it "a generational divide that comes across as bitter and superior." 

Lindsey Adler of BuzzFeed shared that frustration, telling SB Nation, "Crapping on the interests and habits of young women is such a tired practice."

For many crtics of the anti-selfie commentary, the issue highlights a form of sexism by portraying young women as somehow worse fans than traditionally obnoxious stadiumgoers (like the drunk guy who keeps yelling obscenities and spilling things on you). 

Here are a few other reactions: