Female Pioneers In Sportscasting

Female Pioneers In Sportscasting

The inclusion of women in sport broadcasting positions.

Until the mid to late 1940s, sports television was a male-dominated field, and some might even argue, that it still is.

Then, it was considered outrageous that a woman was able to report on sports and continued to be viewed this way until the 1980s. It was then that females held more “prominent roles.

Jane Chastain, one of the pioneers in female sportscasting began working for CBS in the 60’s, delivering play-by-play content. She was the first woman to work at a large network as a sportscaster and “thought to be the first woman to do play-by-play,” as well.

Another pioneer in female sportscasting was Jeannie Morris. As an avid writer and journalist, Morris had no problem securing a job within sports; but her treatment within the industry lacked support and equality from/with her male counterparts. More specifically, when she was tasked with covering a Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears game at Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota, she was not given access to the press box, solely because she was a woman.

Despite all odds, Morris still reported the game from above the press box in a blizzard. As a mother of four and wife of an NFL receiver, Morris continued to be unfazed by the disrespect she received.

"Intimidated by people I covered? I think after being the wife of an NFL player for 10 years before I started working, I knew that all these guys were among the most insecure people in the world,'' said Morris, 78. "And I was just naturally curious.''

As time went on, more and more women were beginning to be accepted as sportscasters. Gayle Gardner was another who worked hard and persevered to reach new heights in the workplace. “She was the first female sports anchor to appear weekly on a major network.”

"No one is going to just hand you a job," said Gardner. "For women especially, this profession will never stop being a struggle with constant blows which must be taken."

Around the 1980s, when women’s participation became more prevalent, several former athletes switched from playing to reporting on sports. College athletes Robin Roberts, Ann Meyers, and Donna de Varona were given opportunities to become sportscasters like several ex-male athletes.

Today, there are several female sportscasters that are known amongst the masses, such as, Erin Andrews, Doris Burke, Sage Steele, Cari Champion, Robin Roberts, and Pam Oliver.

With the progression of women in sports come some downfalls as well. For example, in an article, sideline reporter Erin Andrews mentions that her reporting is altogether disregarded at times as people ask non-related questions like “who is she dating,” “what is she wearing,” etc.

While some sports spectators look at female sportscasters as only "eye candy," it is crucial that they are viewed as spectators of a sport that have valued opinions.

Former voice of the Chicago Cubs, Jack Brickhouse said, "women have another dimension that men cannot give. They can give a female's insight into women athletes in swimming, golf, basketball, tennis, etc. How does a man know what problems a woman would have in a particular sport?”

Fortunately, the number of opportunities for women broadcasters are rising, thanks to many pioneers mentioned above. Now, it is crucial that they continue to break barriers for generations to come.
Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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As A Soccer Fan, I'm Still Salty  The United States Didn't Qualify​ For The World Cup

There's nothing I love more than watching the U.S. men's national team play.


Some of my all-time favorite soccer players play for the United States National Soccer Team whether it's newbie, Christian Pulisic scoring on the field or legends Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard or even any of the women's players like Alex Morgan.

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