Reporter Assaulted by Runner – The LetsRun Community Reacts

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EDIT: I have modified the title of this article. Initially the title gave many the impression that the responses in the referenced thread were reflective of the opinion of the site operators. That was an unfair. My criticism is directed at the individual users that made those comments. Unfortunately, similar comments can be found throughout social media and in the reply sections of other articles.

The story of a runner delivering a hard slap to the rear of the Savannah reporter Alex Bozarjian is getting national attention.

Nearly everyone was quick to admonish the behavior of the man. The LetsRun message board was littered with posts that were downplaying the incident.

The above post is despicable and is a typical example of victim blaming

This post clearly is downplaying the actions of the assailant. The poster actually compared this reporter being assaulted to someone stealing a light bulb from a string of Christmas lights.

“She should take it as a compliment” Ridiculous. Again, there is no justification for this behavior. It wasn’t a compliment. It was an assault.

I am not sure what this individual saw. But she was clearly struck, and was clearly affected.

The behavior of this individual is worse than the course cutters and bib mules that I typically write about. The people that are shrugging off the behavior or marginalizing the impact of his behavior, are sadly out of touch.

Summary

Not all the comments on letsRun were condoning the behavior. The original poster was critical as were others that reacted to the posts above.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Let’sRun is such a toxic forum. God forbid you look up Caster Semenya without going through a toxic rabbithole.
    Pretty much stick to running subreddits for advice and run talk.

    • I’m not sure I’ve ever really perused LetsRun, but it certainly appears to be a cesspool from those comments and I have no desire to go there now for sure. Granted, I wouldn’t expect that reporter to have lifelong scars from this incident, but it was totally inappropriate and anyone trying to take up for the guy and/or blame the victim are a bunch of lowlifes.

      • I truly, honestly believe you understand why this is bad behavior, and you are a “good guy” in every way. I do want to respond, as a woman, to your statement that she may not have “lifelong scars” from this. I don’t wish to either exaggerate or underplay her feelings. I think if it happened off camera it would be far less damaging. But I would imagine it is extremely embarrassing to her as a young woman trying to be taken seriously as a professional. This act going viral may, in fact, give her shame forever. I am extremely successful and middle-aged now, but I still remember, with blush-inducing shame, comments made about my “curves” while giving professional presentations when I interning as a young woman. Older men seemed to take special joy in making me react and blush. They did not take me seriously, in spite of my high intellect and exhaustive preparation. I imagine the shame will follow her for life, even though she will move on, succeed and kick butt, as I have. I’m truly not a victim and think of it rarely, but having a young, very pretty daughter brings the feeling back, and incidents like this make me worry that those men are still out there, waiting to shame and belittle my child.

  2. LetsRun is a home to trolls who will post just about anything and the people who run that site have shown time and time again they don’t care.

  3. Derek, never ever forget where you came from. You were once a LetsRun member too. The LetsRun community has meant a lot for your website

    • My website was created as a response to letsrun deleting threads and not having a standard for allowing or not allowing cheater threads. The forum, has, at times been beneficial in allowing users to post information anonymously. The flip side of that has been pretty ugly and something that I haven’t seen addressed. The thread I reference is garbage. Some users are blaming the reporter. Someone dug up an Instagram post she made on Halloween to justify the assault. Those posts aren’t outliers, they are standard.

  4. Many Letsrun posters are really nasty. Not all, but far too many. Perhaps a preponderance.

    Perhaps most tragic is their infatuation with critiquing ‘hobby joggers.’ Got news for them, if you ain’t competing in the Olympics or invited into the elites of big races…an exceedingly small percentage of people…you, too, are a hobby jogger.

  5. As someone says, while this won’t leave deep scars, it’s still sexual assault and you can bet the next time she does something similar she will have a hard time and will probably choose to stand differently, not have runners behind her, will be sidetracked to some degree as the “last time” will come to the forefront of her mind in any situation that is similar. It won’t be forgotten and it won’t just “go away”. Something like that is humiliating and being done on live tv no less. Make no mistake, she will never forget this and it will be in her psyche and come up in similar situations. I can’t believe in 2019, some (not all) males think this is actually okay.

  6. I’m a big MI and Derek fan, but I don’t see the usefulness of this story. As with any websites–and especially when it has a large following like Letsrun–statistically speaking you’re always going to have your share of idiots and obnoxious people and trolls. At any website, there will be people who offend your sensibilities; there will be idiots and obnoxious people and trolls on both sides of virtually any topic. So I don’t see the point of pointing fingers at Letsrun. It’s not unique or surprising, and it’s impossible to change behavior by disapproving looks and comments. I think the reason some people at Letsrun are active and say obnoxious things is because they know that, especially on topics like this, there’s also a sizable number at Letsrun from whom they can get a reaction out of. I think that’s the fun they find in posting at Letsrun.

    Anyway, just chiming in to say that this story doesn’t seem to serve the purposes of MI. Derek will be a busy man if he’s going to comment on Letsrun threads that contain nasty comments.

    • AMEN. For some reason most of his Facebook followers don’t agree. It’s laughable.

      He asks for donations. I’d donate money to MI for his hard work at scouring race results, but I wouldn’t pay a penny for him to copy and paste trashy comments for me to read from trolls at trashy websites.

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