A YouTube page featuring female grappling matches that were filmed without the participants’ consent is back up after being removed months ago due to public outcry.
The channel “Girls Grappling” (and the individual who runs it, Keith Egan) earned a reputation particularly among the East Coast jiu-jitsu community for behavior that’s been called “creepy” and “sketchy” by people who have spoken up against them. The general backstory can be found here, but to summarize, Egan (who declined a request for comment when the first article was published) has been confronted multiple times for filming female BJJ athletes without their consent and then uploading the videos to a YouTube page. The filming angles and titles of the videos suggest that although there’s nothing obviously pornographic about them, they’re filmed and uploaded with sexual undertones in mind, likely to appeal to viewers who get turned on by watching women grapple or wrestle.
Although many of the original videos have been removed, screenshots from when the channel was first put up are consistent with popular themes in the grappling fetish community, including women “beating” or dominating men, and suggestive filming angles used in video thumbnails.
Recent videos on the page seem to have returned to the channel’s practice of using specific keywords (rather than athlete names) to target individuals who are either familiar with the channel’s questionable content or are searching for videos that would feature women in close-contact sports like “MMA” or “wrestling” (even though the videos clearly feature a jiu-jitsu match). At this time, it appears that the Facebook page and website for the videos have not been put back up.
Legally speaking, there isn’t a lot that can be done about the videos aside from the featured athletes filmed without consent requesting that their clips be taken down — the videos were taken in public, which removes the “reasonable expectation of privacy” factor. However, private event staff are within their rights to remove people from their tournaments if they’re causing trouble or making people uncomfortable. If you witness or are subjected to suspicious behavior at a tournament, or if you see someone notorious for suspicious behavior in attendance, alert the event staff so that they can properly handle the situation.