Code of Conduct

Great content. Great conversation. The Athletic publishes the very best storytelling in sports and our community sections give readers the chance to connect with each other and our writers via lively discussion and debate in a respectful and safe forum. Please help foster this community by adhering to the Code of Conduct.

Respect other fans

Abuse, harassment, bullying and personal attacks are unacceptable

Respect the game

Racism, discrimination and hate speech are not permitted

Be a good sport

No trolling, flaming or baiting comments allowed

Be a team player

Don’t post spam, advertising, vulgarities, or irrelevant, illegal, inappropriate material

All Code of Conduct violations are taken seriously and can result in a loss of commenting or subscription privileges. To help maintain a safe place for all subscribers, we ask you to flag any violations in our community sections for moderator review. Have additional questions? Reach out to us here.

Want to know more? Here's an FAQ to help address some commonly asked questions:

Q: I found an inappropriate comment. What do I do?

A: You can flag this comment for moderator review by clicking on the “...” icon next to the comment.

Q: What kind of comments are encouraged in The Athletic’s community sections?

A: The Athletic’s subscribers are passionate and engaged, and we are proud of the substantive and smart community sections to which they contribute on our site. To that end, we welcome our subscribers’ thoughtful feedback on a story, questions for the story’s author, well-informed comments that are relevant to the article and their general thoughts on issues pertaining to their favorite team, club or league.

Q: Is it ok to criticize a story or the author of a story in a comments section?

A: We welcome thoughtful and constructive feedback of our work as long as it relates to the content in question. Personal attacks on The Athletic’s staff, as well as other subscribers, are not tolerated.

Q: What happens to flagged comments?

A: Flagged comments are removed and replaced with a message noting that the comment was in violation of our Code of Conduct. Flagged comments may lead to temporary or permanent suspensions.

Q: What happens to users who violate the Code of Conduct?

A: Users who have egregious or repeat Code of Conduct violations may have commenting privileges temporarily or permanently suspended after careful review from our Community team.

Q: Does The Athletic edit comments?

A: No, The Athletic does not edit any comments submitted by subscribers.

Q: Why are comments closed on certain stories?

A: Comments are closed when we believe our ability to monitor and moderate the comments section of a particular story would fail to ensure that the forum remains a respectful and civil space for subscribers. The decision is made after careful consideration from our editorial leadership and we notify readers via an editor’s note at the top of the story indicating that comments for the story have been turned off.

Q: Does The Athletic ever choose to turn off the comments section after a story is published?

A: We will suspend a comments section due to a high number of Code of Conduct violations including unproductive, divisive and harmful conversation, all of which lead to a negative user experience. On the rare occasion we choose to do this, readers will receive an automated message noting that comments have been suspended.