I have recently noticed when I talk about NFL football with guys, some say: “If you are a real football fan, name five players on your team?” That is something a guy has actually said to me! I respond appropriately. I proved them wrong. It made me wonder? Why can’t I just like the NFL without being quizzed by guys? They expect you to know everything about the NFL because you’re a girl who happens to like NFL football and if you don’t pass their “quiz” you’re not a “real football fan” .
Recently, Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer became the first women team to call an NFL game. They faced some backlash from fans being critical of their knowledge of football and also their qualifications as commentators. Male fans were being extremely sexist and critical saying “They won’t know, they never played football” Hannah Storm says “I think it’s extremely myopic to think that … the NFL or really any sport is only for men.”
There have also been multiple incidents when women sportscasters have been stalked and harassed by males. “Female newscasters and celebrities have long faced harassment and threats — According to the New York Times, one newscaster said in 2012 that she had had to quit her job in St. Louis after repeated threats from a stalker.”
Cam Newton, Quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, laughed at a female reporter after being asked a football related question. No female reporter should feel belittled due to gender!
Discrimination doesn’t just happen to female sportscasters, but female athletes as well. It’s 2019 and people “males” feel like women aren’t supposed to play sports. It’s the association with masculinity that women have to keep proving that they are good enough over and over again and that’s not okay. But with each female who makes a name for herself as a sportscaster or athlete, progress is being made! Women should be able to go into their workplace feeling safe. They deserve respect and courtesy. Truly. These courageous women have worked so hard to get to where they are today and sexism is not OK!!. Women must be treated fairly and with respect in the sports industry arena.
Sports isn’t a secret language only men are allowed to learn. If women are able to learn the particular sport well and be able to talk about it intelligently, women in sports must be respected like any man in this industry. I hope one day to see women and men playing the same sports and and not seeing any women be discriminated against in the sports industry.