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As a community we need to uphold ourselves to higher standards than permitting defamatory, assaulting behavior. I use my social media platforms to share a window into my life- both professionally and personally, yet I also believe that this channel is a platform to have a voice and stand for what I believe in. This includes spreading more love and taking a stance against bullying. I am hurt and broken hearted to say that I am a victim of a bully and it has crossed the line. I write from the hospital, where I sit praying for the health of my family. I have received many messages about the ridicule that someone has made about me and my career. I have tried reaching out maturely, with no response. I find it incredibly sad that he has chosen this road. Perhaps because I am an independent female who has made a career out of my chosen path that irritates him? The second photo in this slide is one example of a reference he has made to me and Edu going to the Verdon, which I had to cancel due to my Grandma’s health. At the root of a lot of evil is insecurity. There is a line at which enough is enough, and I do not find it okay that a man can act like such a child, nor target women in such a vulgar way as he has done. I have chosen to write about this because while joking banter can be light and entertaining, this is not “light” content. This is malicious and ongoing. Behavior like this has dire consequences on the victim, including eating disorders, the perpetuation of gender inequality, and a misrepresentation of the pillars that I am proud that our community stands for. – Update I’ve been in touch with Joe and he’s taking steps to fix his problems. He deleted the meme account and has apologized in both my and his social accounts. Personally I’m accepting his apology and would encourage all of you to do the same. This includes his sponsors who I know are aware of the situation and I’m sure he’s feeling the heat from that angle. Ultimately I want our community to be better, to respect people of all strengths, shapes and sizes for who they are. As athletes, lets use our platforms for good and work hard to push the limits of what us humans are capable of.

A post shared by S A S H A • D I G I U L I A N (@sashadigiulian) on

 

In a bizarre story from the climbing world, professional climber Joe Kinder was booted by his sponsors, Black Diamond and La Sportiva after he admitted to cyber harassing Sasha DiGiulian–very much a mainstream name thanks to a World Championship in sport climbing and success tranferring that skill set to the natural realm outdoors with numerous first ascents.

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Kinder used a fake account to post memes making fun of climbers and other public figures. According to DiGiulian, Kinder’s posting has been “malicious and ongoing” for some eight years. She finally posted publicly about it after reaching out to Kinder privately on multiple occasions.

Most of the memes disappeared from social media when Kinder deleted the fake account. It sounds as if the final straw was a meme he posted where DiGiulian’s likeness was portrayed in negative terms with regards to her weight and a trip she took (you can see it in the second slide of Sasha’s post, above). Kinder had already reportedly used the fake account to chastise online self-help guru, Sarah Sapora, as well, whom DiGiulian also stood up for.

Social media has been an awesome way for most of us to reach one another on so many levels. My career has changed immensely with the ease of sharing stories to motivate or inform audience. It can be used in great ways or harmful. I’ve always had a bit of a harsh sense of humor as I grew up a skater-kid punk. I’d rile my friends with pranks or nicknames, as it was done out of love. Fast forward to my adult years and I still enjoy joking and never taking ourselves too seriously but there’s a point when it’s too much. Bullying or harmful content is nothing I’d like to be connected to and I’m not proud to have offended people. For a few months I had a private account that would include a small group of people on inside jokes and memes poking fun at people. (It’s deleted now so no need to search it out.) I went overboard and would like to publicly apologize, Sasha, I’m sorry. I respect women and support our current era for our women as we’re in a historical moment of time. It was not pro, kind, human, or yielding of anything positive. Social media is great and I want to share content to inspire and not cause harm. The brands I work with support women on a major level and I’m dang proud to affiliate with that. My actions are by me and I own it. I apologize to anyone that was hurt by my tasteless acts, I’m learning from this. -joe (Above are photos of people I respect and who teach me to be a better person)

A post shared by Joe Kinder (@joekinder) on

Fake accounts poking fun at athletes with bigger names in their respective sports are common across social media. But this is some serious cynicism and Kinder took responsibility for his actions. “I’ve always had a bit of a harsh sense of humor as I grew up a skater-kid punk,” Kinder wrote. “I’d rile my friends with pranks or nicknames….fast forward to my adult years and I still enjoy joking and never taking ourselves too seriously but there’s a point when it’s too much. Bullying or harmful content is nothing I’d like to be connected to and I’m not proud to have offended people… I went overboard and would like to publicly apologize, Sasha, I’m sorry.” I sent a note to Kinder for comment but have yet to hear back.

Sasha, for her part, emphasized that she had tried to get Kinder to tone down before but it wasn’t going anywhere. “I tried to resolve this privately,” Sasha told us in an email that was part of a statement that went with her vlog post, below.

“It has gone on for years and those who know both of us are fully aware of this. I was not going to just let this keep escalating; it has been so incredibly hurtful. My response was to a meme that was the final straw. I am not going to stand by and be silent about something like this. It is not acceptable behavior.”

Kinder was almost immediately dropped by his sponsors La Sportiva and Black Diamond, which to DiGiulian’s credit as a human, wrote that she didn’t want to see that happen. But people usually lose jobs when situations get ugly like this.

A post shared by La Sportiva (@lasportivagram) on


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