The AP is reporting that the Portland FBI field office has offered a $5,000 reward for help in apprehending someone that has been sending dozens of threatening letters to individuals, media entities and "multiple individuals associated with University Athletic Departments in Ohio, Michigan, and Arizona". Some of the letters have been graced with a white powdery substance that the FBI has identified as an insecticide.
What is the author so upset about you ask? Your guess is as good as mine, but that athletic department in Ohio that they're pissed at is -- you got it -- Ohio State. The FBI released excerpts from two of the letters hoping that the public will be able to help. The first is from September 2004:
"We are fed up with networks exploiting women in sports coverage. ABC/ESPN exploit collegiate and professional cheer squads in their coverage of football and basketball. They also screw WNBA players and WTA Tennis players. Compare coverage of cheer and dance squads based on their outfits they wear. Compare quality of shots, length of shots and number of shots Pigs park their cameras on us close up, front view, dozens of times each game, yet rarely ever show on TV in this manner, unless squads are wearing sweaters, jackets, under shirts, etc... Watch how they always zoom in on WNBA players shooting free throws then leave at the last second as she starts to shoot, disrupting the flow. Watch on ESPN how they will show women serve, close up, from every angle (side, back) EXCEPT when they zoom in close front, they will leave as she starts to serve, disrupting the flow. We have asked nicely for them to respect us and all women, yet they refuse. They exploit innocent people, so we will too. When they start respecting us, we stop mailing these out."
And this one is from December 2006:
"For the past 6-7 years, ESPN and its nationwide networks have exploited cheer/dance teams all across the country. They do this by parking their TV cameras on these women for their own personal entertainment, but only give TV time to squads that wear long sleeved shirts, jackets, sweaters, etc. The squads that don't wear these types of outfits? They get EXPLOITED. For a long time we have warned ESPN the networks and several schools what would happen if this did not change. For the last 6 years, Ohio State cheerleaders have received more TV time than any other Division 1A cheer squad on ESPN, because they wear long sleeved red/white outfits. If they wore sleeveless outfits, they would not get ANY TV time. So, we are fed up with this constant exploitation."
I have never in my life heard of women being exploited by wearing more clothing, so that last part totally baffles me. Just goes to show you that the world has plenty of nuts. We're counting on you FBI and Joe Citizen. Keep this whack-job away from Ohio State's cheerleaders.