National Girls & Women In Sports Day!
Over the years, women have secured successful careers in broadcasting and athletics. Although women are becoming quite accomplished in these fields, there still appears to be a subtle, unspoken professional dividing line between men and women in sports, whether as athletes or as broadcasters. If it were not for the all trail blazers breaking the glass ceiling in my chosen field, I would not have been blessed with so many wonderful opportunities. But, it wasn't always easy.
I experienced a lot of different reactions when I began my career path during my freshman year of college as a sideline reporter for football games at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. My family was super excited for me, but on game day it was blatantly obvious to me that people had their own opinions.
I was so excited to be the sideline reporter not only for the first home game, but also for the Homecoming Game. I recall going to the field that day to prepare my equipment and interview some of the players. When I walked up to the booth, I quickly realized I was the only female reporter there. The men all just looked at me as if I did not belong there. A gentleman even told me when I entered the booth, “Sorry miss, only reporters can be up in the booth.” I responded to that particular individual, “Then I must be in the right place because I am the sideline reporter.” The man gave me the ugliest look and said to me, “Didn’t expect a girl would be doing this job.”
While I was completing a microphone test, a reporter from another radio station thought I was a cheerleader. When I told him I was a sideline reporter, his comment was, “A girl is doing this job?” Needless to say, I felt uncomfortable, awkward, and alone.
On the bright side, after the game, the same reporter that thought I was a cheerleader told me how impressed he was with my work on the field. He indicated to me that he did not believe I would be that effective and subsequently offered me a sincere apology.
This day gave me the confidence I needed and reassured me I was on the right career path.
It's crazy to think that people still don't believe women belong in sports. But it's women like Katie Sowers (San Francisco 49ers Coach), Amy Lawrence (CBS Sports Radio Host), Sarah Thomas (NFL Official), and many more that continue to light the way for females in sports.
During my senior year of college, I conducted interviews with female athletes around my university to talk about their experiences as female athletes. This video also showcased others’ opinions on women in sports.
Be kind...this video was completed years ago! Check out what these collegiate athletes have to say about their roles as women athletes.
Here's to all women in sports!