Girl Power

A number of the broadcasters that I admire are women; needless to say the video of Erin Andrews that landed Michael David Barrett in jail was very upsetting to me. The thought that this would be done to anyone is terrible, but to a woman competing in a male dominated field it seems to be yet another obstacle to overcome on the path to success and respect. Over the years women in sportscasting have been subjected to a variety of degrading situations: catcalls, leers, overtly suggestive comments, and in some cases even more physical acts such as Lesley Visser’s case of getting dragged out of a locker room during the 1980 Cotton Bowl. I feel no matter how hard these women work they continue to not be taken seriously. 

Female sportscasters often find themselves on the sidelines of college and pro football games, such as Pam Oliver and Andrea Kremer, where stringent NFL rules make it nearly impossible for them to do their jobs.  Female sportscasters are never given any consideration of hosting a pre game show, doing analysis, or play by play. Most of these jobs are given to men, and not for their reporting quality but because they have played the game. There are a few exceptions to this rule:  Pam Ward covers college football for ESPN, then there’s Suzyn Waldman and Sherry Ross, radio color commentators who cover the New York Yankees and the New Jersey Devils respectively.  While the playing field would seem to be leveling so to speak, the networks are still slow in doing this.

Women sportscasters have to be smarter and work harder than their male counterparts because they must be prepared to earn their credibility.  Some of the most talented women wind up in the studio, such as Linda Cohn and Hannah Storm of ESPN’s Sportscenter.   In several major media markets women are doing the 6 and 11 sportscast and working in cable sports outlets across the country. That being said, one thing that has bothered me is that my beloved Pittsburgh has never had a female sportscaster on the local newscasts.  I hope that things continue to change in the field, and that female sportscasters will receive more fair opportunities to be on the air.

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  1. Greetings, Rob! Just stoppin’ by 2 leave a message. I must say your blog is pretty awesome. Surprised I can’t c “Bonnie Bernstein” among the taggs 2 the left. Keep up the cool work. Go Pirates; go Lakers!

    • Keith, I will be talking about Bonnie real soon and tell the rest of the group about this blog. Thanks

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