Making Warrior Accountable: A social media campaign

It was recently brought to my attention that Warrior is a horrible company.  When I say “horrible” I don’t mean that their equipment is horrible.  This is the same Warrior worn and used by Alex Burrows, Shane Doan, Ilya Kovalchuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Alexei Kovalev among others.  I myself purchased a Warrior Covert DT1 a few months ago. I love the stick, but I no longer love Warrior.  And, unless they change their sexist and misogynistic ways I will no longer be consuming any more Warrior products.  I encourage you to do the same.

I have never shopped on Warrrior’s website and I don’t follow them on social media, so up until last Friday I had no idea what Warrior considers “marketing”.  Someone on Twitter informed me that the following comment can be found on Warrior’s FAQ page:

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Funny thing is that Warrior does serve “that” demographic, just not with women’s specific clothing or equipment.  And if you search “women’s,” this is what comes up:

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So, okay they don’t make women’s gear – they have made that abundantly clear. And no one is asking them to go out of their way to include women.  But then why does Warrior go out of its way  to make women (or men shopping for women) with the intent of purchasing its equipment feel like crap?  I’m going to go out on a limb and speak on behalf of all women athletes and tell you right now, we already feel like outsiders so there is no need to rub it in.  We know that there are very few women’s specific items on the shelves.  We know that even if we find something in a men’s that we like it probably won’t come in an appropriate size for us.  We know that hockey, lacrosse and soccer (the three sports that Warrior deals with) were not made for us.  No need to put it in writing.

After a little more digging, it wasn’t hard to find more Warrior gems.  This appears when you search “women’s apparel”:

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And these were found on the Warrior Twitter account:

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#Seriously? Warrior has clearly tapped into the shallow well of “sex sells”.  But #CrossTheLine and “there’s more than one way to score” is crossing over from the land of generic objectification to overt promotion of rape culture.  It’s not clever.  It’s not provocative.  It’s just plain misogynistic.  But wait there’s more!  Just last week Warrior tweeted out this comment:

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Not only are women not welcome to shop for Warrior items, unless it is for their boyfriend, but women’s sport is generally laughable. To find out more about their 18th century tweeting skills you can check out this article from the Score, Warrior’s Gender-Motivated Tweets Spark Outrage. Warrior never apologized for its comments, it merely clarified its position with more sexism and then later on removed the tweets.  I found out that Warrior seems to be under a constant barrage of feedback about its operating style but it refuses to budge.  So I decided to start a social media campaign.  A couple of months ago I created a Twitter account called Offside Plays (@offsideplays) to catalogue and call out everyday occurrences of sexism, homophobia, racism etc. in sport.  It is designed as a safe space where people can learn about the discrimination that others encounter in their own lives and serve as a possible site for research.  Currently, most of what I do is promote articles on discrimination but I am hoping that once it gets big enough people will be able to share their own experiences (so far lots of shares about sexism encountered while cycling and running).  On Friday I called on all hockey, lacrosse and soccer players who have Warrior gear to tape over their logos and send in the picture to Offside Plays with #taped.  It is a small gesture, I know. But asking people to burn hundreds of dollars of equipment isn’t realistic.  We can, however, make sure that Warrior knows that their next quarter, and all subsequent financial statements are going to take a hit.  If you have Warrior gear please join our stand against sexism and misogyny and tape over your Warrior logos and either send the picture to @offsideplays or load it on the Facebook page. Warrior needs to understand that freedom of speech is not the same as consequence free speech.  Please join me in making Warrior accountable.

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About courtneyszto
Public sociologist and tempered radical in training. Sports is my life. I recently graduated from the University of Toronto with my Masters in Exercise Science. My Master's thesis focused on corporate social responsibility in professional sports, international development and gender equality. My undergraduate degree is Bachelor of Human Kinetics in Sport Management. I am a Vancouver Canucks fan through and through. I have worked in event management, outdoor education, the golf industry, and coached tennis. Soon to be PhD student.

2 Responses to Making Warrior Accountable: A social media campaign

  1. Pingback: Links: Monday, July 14th | Love in the Margins

  2. Pingback: Weekly Links: Backlash to Sharks’ “ice girl” decision; Imagining an expanded World Cup of Hockey; Thorold’s offensive First Nations logo | Hockey in Society

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