Sports broadcasting is often considered a man’s game, what with the primary sports being covered in this country being played by…well, males. But, more women have worked their way into the industry within the last few decades at a slow, gradual rate. Now, there are more females residing in the sports media than ever before. So, what are they saying?
Well, in short, they’re saying a lot and are landing more high-profile, investigative assignments than ever before. Depending on who you listen to, this can be a problem for some people, as Sam Laird discusses. This is the reality of living in a culture with deep-rooted gender stereotypes that at some level may never completely disappear. Britt McHenry delves into this unfortunate societal phenomenon.
So, why is that we can’t seem to accept women covering sports (particularly those played by males)? In her UrbanTimes blog, Taylor Short offers some initial thoughts. Unfortunately, many female broadcasters are often improperly judged based on their looks. It is incredibly difficult for a woman to establish a sense of credibility amongst her male colleagues (be it co-workers or viewers) in this field. Erin Andrews of Fox (for my money one of the best in the business, regardless of gender) offers some interesting takes on this dilemma.
In the end, our world needs to get to a place where women are accepted as professional broadcasting figures. If for no other reason, look at the bushels of great work they are producing. As an example, the recent run of domestic violence episodes in the NFL (as tragic and disgusting as it was) represented a gold-mine for established and credible female voices to speak out in sports media. In his roundup post, Jonathan Mahler of the New York Times details this time period.
For every negative stereotype conceived about women in the sports media, there is a tremendously unique female voice presenting viewpoints and perspectives that otherwise would never be heard. Whether it’s Erin Andrews at FOX, Hannah Storm at ESPN, Rachel Nichols at CNN or whomever you choose to look at, there is tremendous work being done by females across the sports landscape. So, really, there’s just one thing left to say to those people who just can’t cope with the idea of a woman covering sporting events.
Grow up. They’re here to stay.