Essay on Gender: Gender and Sports

Submitted By connorswain9
Words: 1753
Pages: 8

Connor Swain
Professor Streicher
English 2
1 November 2014

Gender Discrimination in Sports Broadcasting in Today’s World

Woman in the sports broadcasting field has been a long and difficult road for many woman. Though it is still getting better in regard for woman having an easier and fairer time in getting into the field back in the 1960s women were a rare sight in the sports reporting world. Back during that time period if there was a woman sports reporter she was covering a female sport or a female sports league, there were no women allowed to cover the “big money” men sports such as Football, Basketball and baseball. The general thinking of the time was that women did not belong covering or reporting on male sports because they were women and they did not have the knowledge that a male reporter had. As time went on, more women wanted to get involved reporting on male dominated sports that the industry had no choice but to allow the reporters to do what they wanted. But even though women started to break through, they still had many things to overcome and still had it way tougher than the men that were already there. “One major hurdle women journalists faced was getting into the locker room. Some sports organizations had firm rules about women in the men's locker rooms, while others simply had unwritten rules. Women who attempted to report on teams that enforced these rules were stopped at the locker room door and told to wait outside for their interviews with the players and coaches (Greer).” Though we have come a long way as a society from that time women are still discriminated against in the sports broadcasting field and should have the same opportunities as men. Female sports broadcasters are perceived to be less credible than male sports broadcasters due to years of gender bias and stereotypes but if given the chance to perform, women can do just as goof of a job in the field of sports broadcasting than men “In a 2008 poll a question was asked “Are female analysts as credible as male analysts such as former players in sports like football or baseball, hockey etc. or in other words, sports that women don’t participate in?” from the group was mixed. One commenter wrote: “I personally don’t care if an announcer is a man or woman. What I like about an announcer is if they act natural, are knowledgeable about the sport and the teams playing”. Another offered a different view: “Two words beer and babes. That sums it up right there for me. Just my opinion. Eye candy does the trick most of the time (Greer 1).” This is a great example of the different feelings we as a society have of female sports reporters. As one guy thought it only mattered whether she was knowledgeable about what she was talking about and another referred to the looks of her. Though this is just a small sample size, if you were to get feedback from a wider range, your findings would be similar of those found in this poll. Even though some women are starting to gain more acceptance in the field of sports broadcasting, most still face a lot of resistance and discrimination. One way that women sportscasters are being challenged is in the locker room. There have been many instances of harassment and discrimination towards women reporters who are just trying to do the same thing their male reporters, get into the locker rooms to interview players. Other discrimination occurrences involved legendary Penn State University football coach, Joe Paterno, and NBA great, Charles Barkley. Barkley had commented that “women reporters had no business covering men’s sports and should stick to women’s sports.” In the mid-1980s, Paterno did not want women reporters in the locker room, so he “closed the locker room to everybody” (Ricchiardi). These two instances are some of the biggest examples of discrimination against women journalist and it came at the hands of two of the most famous sport figures, two hall of famers. As a result, when people saw these huge