We have a lot of relatively new readers and commenters finding AN these days, which means it behooves us to clarify policies now and again. I want to address an issue, and explain the reasoning, while also emphasizing that this is not some "big deal" post. It just addresses an issue that surfaced a couple weeks ago, then seemed to die down, but has resurfaced again so it should probably be addressed.
The issue revolves around gender-based language (e.g., "p**ssies," "b****," "c***") and sexualized images (e.g., "rally scantily clad females"). In a room of 3,000 people you cannot possibly hope to gain consensus around where the line should, or shouldn't be, in regards to what is too politically correct or what is offensive. However, what I can strive to be is clear, and I can explain the thinking behind the policies.
The reality is that this kind of language, and use of these kinds of images, bothers a significant percentage of our readers and alienates a significant percentage of our female readers. If in coming down too hard on language/images, I drive away a bunch of readers who find AN to be "too politically correct," I'm not thrilled about that but I can live with it. If in allowing too much of this language/images, I drive away a bunch of our fans who happen to be female, that I cannot -- or choose not to -- live with.
I also know that sports and sports forums that wish to be welcoming to female fans need to pay extra attention to not giving off a "boys club" atmosphere, and I believe that our attention to this is among the many things that make AN better that the average sports community.
In this spirit, I will ask everyone please to respect these limits, with the clarity that when such language or images are flagged, moderators are fully supported in issuing due consequences. Thank you all for making this community not only vibrant, interesting, and hilarious, but also safe and welcoming for everyone. Well maybe for everyone except Manny Machado. I'm ok with that.