Can She Live?! Women in Sports Media Continue To Fight Unfair Perceptions

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The long drag of the final buzzer barely made a ripple through an emptying arena, and the producer wasted no time getting in your ear to tell you that your segment with the player of the game starts in 20 seconds.

Including the hours leading up to the game, you’ve prepared and worked for three days. You’ve done your research- pouring over field goal percentages, team rankings, advanced analytics, and plus/minus. Not to mention hours curled in front of your TV breaking down game film in such detail that YOU could’ve coached in the game.

The countless hours of stat crunching and questions. Pick and rolls on a never ending loop- crammed into a minute or less of camera time. Oh, and you have to look good and give off an inviting demeanor for the people watching at home because it’s not just enough to dryly report the news.
Luckily for you, one of your favorite players to interview went HAM tonight and is THE reason why the home team came away with a ‘W’. You killed that segment. He was being silly and you enjoyed the interview because your face said so. You’re the same way with all of your interviews because you love the game and in awe of the insane ish that these men do night after night.

After the scrums have faded and you check your Twitter and Instagram to get feedback from the people, you see comments by messy men and women such as:

“He ain’t look(ed) at ‘yo thristy ass in the eyes once” “You stay tryna get his ‘D’”. If it isn’t that, people are trying to romantically link you with the entire roster. You know the truth but to “them” it doesn’t matter. They think that the only difference between you and the base model, garden variety ‘jersey chaser’ is that you have a title and a job.

Congratulations and welcome to the rewarding but sometimes messed up world of a female sportscaster.

While women in the sports media have more of a platform and have more visibility than they’ve had in recent years, it still doesn’t take away from the point of this post! Women in the sports media are unfairly judged when for the most part, they are trying to do their jobs and fight for respect in a male dominated field.

Journalism was my major at North Carolina A&T, and there was always a huge part of me that wanted to be a part of the sports media. I thought it was a great fit for me because I used to play basketball and I’ve always been enamored with the nuances and psychology of the game. I am by no means alone. The women who are out here making moves in the industry may have felt the same way that I do about the sports that they cover. I’m happy for and celebrate their accomplishments as they press forward in the industry.

Sometimes, I would check out their tweet and at times, their mentions are beyond a dumpster fire. Their mentions at times are a cesspool of sexist resentment, trolling b.s. and folks sniffing around for their fix of salacious “tea and shade”. I remember going on Jemele Hill’s twitter feed one day and I noticed a fanboy was all on her timeline wanting to be on the show and debate her. He claimed that Jemele knows nothing about sports and that he does. What that fanboy doesn’t realize is that Jemele paid her dues and worked her ass off to get to the anchor’s chair of Sportscenter. Internships. Writing for smaller market papers. It was a process. Literally making the show is a process with research, rundowns, writing scripts, and editing packages. Someone getting on camera and reading the teleprompter is just a small part of it. But according to social media and beyond, Sports media is just talk and it’s so easy anyone can do it. But when it comes to women reporters, some of these fans really go in. Between the benign “kitchen” quips to the severity of a rape threat lies thoughts of “ I know more about sports than you but you are a sportscaster and not me. You don’t deserve your job” or “She’s not serious about sports reporting, she up here trying get chose by one of these players”

The later thought is what really drove me to write this post. Recently, Terez Owens posted a story about a rumored relationship between Kevin Durant and NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors sideline reporter Ros Gold-Onwude. I follow and am a fan of the Warriors and I know that Ros is a remarkable reporter. She is thorough with her questions. Thorough in her preparation and it has opened up opportunities for her to also get some work with Pac 12 women’s basketball, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Sideline duties for Turner Sports during the NCAA Men’s Tournament and even some select NBA on TNT games when they needed someone to fill in for Craig Sager during his battle with Cancer. What I’ve noticed that is despite her work and accomplishments, people are always tying to link Ros to a Warriors player. They’ve linked her to JaVale McGee. They’ve thought she and Klay would make a great couple. Now, it’s her and KD according to Terez. This is what I’m talking about. It’s not enough for Ros or any one of these reporters to do their job, it has to be some nonsense behind it for obvious reasons. However that’s not the point. The point is that women reporters are assumed to be on the make and if they happen to be attractive, they will take it and run a marathon with this narrative.

You know what’s funny? These women reporters bring it everytime with their analysis and questions and their info, while some men reporters who are just as thirsty and more pressed than a panini than the groupies that the sports fan thinks that the women reporters are- I see you Nick Wright. What’s popping Royce Young? Sometimes the bias that the men hold when they are reporting is obscenely obvious and it makes them look like fanboys and groupies with a microphone. It’s embarrassing and it turns me off from most sports talk shows now.

These women only have one job and they’re doing it better than some of these men out here in the same profession. They have came a long way and have a long way to go at the same time. Despite the foolery and the assumptions of others, they are killing it. Just imagine their capabilities if the court of public opinion would just let them be.

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2 thoughts on “Can She Live?! Women in Sports Media Continue To Fight Unfair Perceptions”

  1. Don’t worry, keep doing the great job your doing. I’m sure the comments have little to do with your job or your professional preparation. They would be saying the same thing if you were driving uber or working at a fast food restaurant. Some people are just idiots and are haters!!!

  2. I didn’t know women sportscasters were experiencing this. This saddens me. I hope that these ladies are able to push forward, and not take this foolishness to heart.

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