Women in sports: The growing cadre

The world of women sports reporters hasn’t historically been large. The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014 reported that while the number of female sports columnists has slipped from 9.9 percent to 9.7 percent, the number of female sports editors increased to 9.6 from 6.3 percent the previous year.

Basically, I’m telling you it may not be growing fast, but the world of women in sports media is growing.

I recently became Assistant Sports Editor. For me, this is an accomplishment to be proud of because I went from never thinking I would write for sports to absolutely loving the field.

I was telling a male friend about my new position and his response was “women know how to talk sports?”

Yes. It’s the 21st century. Women know just as much about sports as men. In my family there are women who are more religious about their sports than the men.

My dad would have never become a Major League Baseball fan if it wasn’t for my stepmom. I’m pretty sure there was a conversation of “we won’t work if you don’t follow MLB.”

I wasn’t sure I would like sports but the biggest reason I have enjoyed it so much is that I know there will always be a story no matter what, because stats don’t lie. Someone always wins, and someone always loses.

So why is there so much negative feedback on women reporters?

Kate Fagan, a writer for the female-focused sports news site ESPNw and ESPN, and one of my personal favorite writers to follow, did a special piece for the Huffington Post about the struggle for women in the sports writing field.

“A lot of time we say diversity is about political correctness, but the bottom line is it’s actually just really good business to have diverse voices across your platform who are going to look at stories in a different way,” Fagan said.

Diversity doesn’t have to mean just women either.

One of my best friends growing up, Annie Moore – who previously worked for WLKY-TV, Cn2 and The News Record and works for AOL, The Voice-Tribune and Grandstand University—has been all over following golf, basketball, baseball, football and more.

When I began writing for sports I went to her looking for some help and she told me, “I started out not knowing what I wanted to do or even if I was going to be good enough for the job but I stuck with it and look where I am at. Nobody can take that away from me.”

Kudos to you, Annie, and hats off to Fagan as well.

To my friend who obviously has no idea what sports writing is all about, I am sorry you are unaware of the growing cadre of female sports reporters.

Though it may not be growing fast enough, the number of women sports reporters is growing. I see more women on TV, on the sidelines and in the press boxes than I ever have.

Maybe if you truly watched sports and followed it as closely as you say you do, you would realize there are more women on the sidelines than ever and if you paid attention to the press box you might see some of the fabulous women that represent the field.

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Assistant Sports Editor