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Women in Sports

There was an interesting commentary on NPR this morning about women in sports journalism and CBS sports is launching a women's show called "We need to talk" or something like that. It's sort of like The View but for sports.

I think the huge thing most sports broadcasting has missed is this: most women sports fans don't need a "chick sports" show. We just want to see more women doing the journalism, coaching and game announcing. We don't need to have a show (or a channel, for that matter--did you guys know that there's an ESPN-W for women) that just tailors its content to what they think women are. We just want to see really good women journalists have their place at the table.

We only see women on the sidelines asking the coaches what they should do to adjust at halftime (and then are taken to the men in the booth who actually tell us what we already know). We only see women as scantily clad weather girls. Women in sports journalism have come a very long way, baby. But women sports fans don't want to just watch women's sports (we enjoy them, yes, but we also still like watching men's sports) and we want to see other smart women who are fans talk about sports and be part of the process.

ESPN, CBS Sports and other broadcasters need to stop pigeonholing women into a little coffee klatch style show and then congratulating themselves for paying attention to their female fans. Just put the good journalists who are doing good work in places like ESPN-W, a channel that no one really knows about, and put them front and center on ESPN. Have a few women on Inside the NFL. Have a few women on the pre-game show.

Don't shove us into what you think we like. We like football. We like golf and basketball and baseball. I personally love seeing a great defense sack a quarterback. I can appreciate a great Hail Mary, the Music City Miracle, or Russell Wilson's magical, scrambling performance on this week's Monday Night Football this week.

Just include the smart women who are already reporting on the mainstream sports that we already watch in your reporting stable. Don't limit yourself to former athletes only. Don't limit yourself to men only. Women have a voice, their opinions about sports are often well considered and informed. Don't make a big deal out of it, just do the right thing. Don't look to be a pioneer or some sort of ground breaker, just take great talent--no matter what gender it might be--and use it. Stop trying to make us watch something we don't want because it's "targeted at women." Just give us good sports reporting, let us watch great sports, stop assuming all fans are men, and we'll all be fine.


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