Texas high school cheerleader Ariel Olivar impressed and baffled the internet with her invisible box trick. Tons of outlets wrote about it, usually marveling at the difficulty of her accomplishment. Barstool Sports editor-in-chief Keith Markovich thought it was worth noting something else.
The original version of Markovich’s post seems to be memory-holed even from caches, but the headline can still be seen in the URL: “The Most Viral Girl In The World Is This Hot Texas Cheerleader Doing The Invisible Box Trick.”
The post was shared by Barstool’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as pretty much every article of theirs is, but the Facebook post and tweet have since been deleted. Maybe it had something to do with Olivar’s mother commenting on the post and saying her daughter was 16. Someone in the site’s comments pasted the text:
20 HOURS AGO
@DosephSmith Original Comment on Facebook... Christopher Sky Walker: “Idk but I wanna put my thumb in her butt” He followed that up when people brought up her age... “Naa turned 18 in November #StatCheck” Then the Mom chimed in with... Darby Angeles Cruz: “She is 16 and she’s my daughter.”
I spoke with Darby Angeles Cruz, who said she hadn’t read the article but confirmed that she defended her daughter to people who left “obnoxious” comments and claimed Olivar was 18.
“I’ve learned though to stop responding to all of these people because it’s absolutely tiring,” Cruz said.
This is at least the second post Markovich has deleted this fall, after he pinched off a two-paragraph blog about freshman Buckeyes women’s hockey goalie Maggie Cory in September under the headline “Is The Ohio State Women’s Hockey Goalie The Hottest College Athlete In America?” You can try the link, but the article was erased within a day. There is a cached version available, albeit without images:
After Awful Announcing wrote a story about that vanished blog, Markovich defended himself on his own site. He complained about anyone having paid attention to this in the first place, and claimed that he took down the post after Cory requested it. Her message, according to Markovich’s screenshot:
Hello if you could please take down the tweet and article about me that would be great I don’t want to get in trouble with my school and NCAA hope you can understand this. Thank you
(“Ohio State was not involved,” a spokesperson for the school’s athletic department told us at the time.)
Markovich said that Barstool Sports has a long-standing policy of taking down cheesecake blogs if a woman pictured in one asks to not be on the site:
Since I started working here 8 years ago our policy has been the same. If a girl asks to be taken off the website, we take her off the website. Maggie asked if we could please take the post down. Gaz forwarded me the screenshot, I clicked over and moved it to Drafts and went back to writing something else. Looking at the timestamps that was at 12:30 PM.
In the instance of Olivar, Markovich resorted to writing a sarcastic apology. At some point after publication, this note was added to the post:
Apologies for calling this cheerleader hot, it’s 2017 we don’t do that anymore, especially not without their tumble and pyramid and pom pom stats.
It feels like Markovich missed the point of why it’s weird to call a 16-year-old high school student hot. (Markovich didn’t reply to a request for comment, so his thoughts and editorial process remain opaque to us.) Eventually, it seems, someone gave him an explanation, because his half-apology was removed, and now all that’s left is a bunch of comments calling Markovich weird and a post that would have been unremarkable if someone had actually edited it in the first place.
Update (Dec. 8, 10:05 a.m. ET): In an email sent last night, and a followup this morning, Markovich wanted to tell his side of the story. According to him, he wrote, “Apologies for calling this cheerleader hot, it’s 2017 we don’t do that anymore, especially not without their tumble and pyramid and pom pom stats,” when he had still thought that the 16-year-old cheerleader he believed to be hot was 18, and not after publication. Markovich said the sentence, “Apologies for calling this cheerleader hot, it’s 2017 we don’t do that anymore, especially not without their tumble and pyramid and pom pom stats,” was removed from the post after he learned that the 16-year-old cheerleader he believed to be hot was actually 16.