Should Female Sports Journalists Be More Conscious of What They Say?

During yesterday’s edition of ESPN’s Mike and Mike, Jemele Hill from the network’s His and Hers appeared briefly as a guest to speak on the sporting events that took place this past weekend. As sports fans are aware, this weekend was chock-full of happenings: The San Antonio Spurs being eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in a classic Game 7 matchup that featured Chris Paul’s heroic performance on one leg, American Pharaoh’s performance (and Rob Gronkowski’s suit) at the Kentucky Derby, and the “Fight of the Century” along with all the backlash from it. The question of the day on the show was: What will history remember most about this weekend? Mike Greenberg stated that this will be the weekend where it is remembered that American Pharaoh began the gallop towards winning the first Triple Crown since 1978, Mike Golic believed that this weekend will be remembered as the weekend where we witnessed the end of this legendary San Antonio Spurs run, and then it was Jemele Hill’s turn to speak.

Out of all of the major, if not historic happenings from this weekend, according to Jemele Hill, what she will remember most about this weekend is it being the weekend she saw The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For one thing, not only did she neglect to comment on what history will remember and make it all about her, but more importantly, she took this time to ignore all these major events and talk about a movie. She then went on to talk about the special effects and how great the character development has been and so on and so forth. And for those of you wondering, the tone of the conversation was not for comedic effect. She was seriously saying that this movie is what she will remember most about this weekend. I’m not going to lie to you, as a sports fan, I was offended. Not because the movie is what she will remember most about the weekend, but because she took this time during a sports show, when asked a specific sports question, to express that. And as she’s talking about Thor and the Incredible Hulk, I’m just thinking to myself, “This is what gives female journalists a bad name.” Females already have it hard enough being fully accepted as equals to men in the sports world, and when you reply that on a weekend where boxing had its richest fight ever, the Spurs may have had its last hurrah, and an exciting (for lack of a better word) Kentucky Derby took place, you take this time to talk about a movie. As a rational man who even sees himself as a strong advocate of female equality, I have since calmed down. And after her movie review, she then spoke eloquently about sports topics as she always does. Even still, I was very tempted to send her a tweet telling her to get her shit together and to set a good example for other female journalists. Had I done this, I would have been seen as a hater, or worse yet: a troll; and if there is one thing that I hate in this world, it’s a troll. So I refrained. The next thought I had was how some people won’t be as understanding as me. Because if I noticed this, then believe me, sexists who believe women shouldn’t cover sports noticed as well. And not that Jemele Hill needs to prove anything to me, these sexists, or anyone else, but she is not helping matters any when on such an eventful sports weekend, her biggest takeaway is the fucking Avengers. I’m still offended to be honest with you.

So one question from this would be, “Should female sports journalists be more conscious of what they say than males?” The reason why they would is not necessarily to prove anything or appease anyone, but rather to make the road less rocky for other and future female journalists from being stereotyped or discriminated against. Because we see all these campaigns that ask men to #Leanin for the equality of women, but this implies that you are trying to change the minds of those who aren’t already leaning in. And I would say that women like Jemele Hill talking about the Avengers over everything that happened over the sports weekend…isn’t going to help women be welcomed to the huddle.

Clyde Aidoo is the author of the poetry series, “Art of Mind” and “Alma Mater.” Follow for work samples from these series among other miscellaneous writings. You can purchase Clyde Aidoo’s latest release, Alma Mater Vol. 2: The Northeast, a poetic celebration of the top universities of the Northeast below.


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Posted in Blog, Blogging, Sports, Writing

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