Baseball Boyfriend is a new app by the fantasy warlords over at CBS Sports, and oh, is it quickly becoming controversial. The $2.99 app attempts to bring the joys of fantasy baseball to an audience normally not interested in things like "following stats" or "watching baseball." Namely: Dumb broads. At least, that's the opinion of the app's detractors.
The app works thusly: users pick a "baseball boyfriend" for a day or a season or however long they want, and if the player performs well on the field, the user's awarded points. Basic fantasy-sports stuff, in other words. But it's the lingo of the app ("boyfriend," "dump him," "dating history," etc.) and the blatant directive to choose players that you think are the cutest that has people calling this whole venture extremely sexist. Says VICE:
But there are respectful ways to sell baseball, the world’s most insane and best game, to girls, just as there are respectful ways to sell it to hippies, football fans, skinheads, and the French. If you think Baseball Boyfriend is selling America’s pastime the right way, just imagine what the outcry would be over an app called WNBA Girlfriend.
Meanwhile, the great Katie Baker at Deadspin tries to tackle this issue by interviewing the wife of the app's designer, the person who apparently originated the game:
The app is based on a game she's jokingly played with female friends for years, Wedig said. They used pen and paper to rank their "BBBFs" until her husband, an Internet entrepreneur, created a website and developed an algorithm to support their rules.
Which, frankly, seems harmless enough. But that was before a media giant like CBS started supporting it, making it seem more like the conglomerate's stance towards female fans rather than just some mom-and-pop kitchen table operation. So the question remains: is this app truly sexist? Or is everyone just being overly sensitive in this case?