“You’re going to be in a man’s world.”
I get this from my roommate all the time. She isn’t wrong at all. The sports media industry is filled with testosterone. Women have only recently began to enter this industry. We also have to work ten times harder than the man next to us to get assignments and promotions. We are tested every second about our knowledge of sports. Every day I am doubting my choice of major because I know how hard it is going to be for me from here on out.
Journalism as a career alone already lacks women in their newsrooms, so when you add sports there’s more of an imbalance in the industry. Women in sports media are abused, yes, abused, every day on their blog posts and social media. It’s a problem that has been ignored for many years by employers of these sports writers. Society teaches women to take the hate and move on with their day, while the men who write such hateful things will continue to post anonymously or not on social media.
I remember attending a Gator football game this past fall and two young women were out doing reel tapes for a local radio station. They were visibly nervous recording themselves on the football field, knowing judgmental eyes were on them. All I could do was admire them for coming out during halftime and getting their work done regardless who was watching. When I watched NFL Sundays this past season, I looked forward to seeing Gator alumna, Erin Andrews, on the field with her microphone ready to report on an injury, a coach’s update or interview a football player. She’s a natural in front of the lens now, but still struggles with personal issues that arose when she became a sportscaster.
Regardless of experience in sports reporting, all three of these women have something in common and it is that they have a love of sports pumping through their veins. I know in the future when I go out to do assignments, I will be looked down upon and scrutinized as “a woman who doesn’t know sports” but I can’t let that get to me and my love of sports. I can only go out there, prove to everyone that I can do the job just as well (or better) as a man can and break the social stigma with women in sports media.