Thursday, April 26, 2007

The (sporting) adventures of new Christine

LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner's column in today's paper reveals his new identity as Christine Daniels. Daniels will be one of the few -- if not the only -- transsexual sportswriters in a U.S. newsroom. Penner is trading in an privileged identity (male) for one (female) that has generally had a marginal status in sports departments. I hope Daniels will consider joining AWSM, an organization that has supported women working in sports media for the past 20 years.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Post-Imus reflections

Nike ran an ad in today's New York Times that opines about the Imus fiasco: "Thank you for unintentionally moving women’s sport forward. And thank you for making all of us realize that we still have a long way to go." Unfortunately, the focus on the racism in his comment almost overwhelmed the ubiquitous-yet-invisible gender politics embedded in it. The most cogent take I've seen on the issue was, predictably, by Edge of Sports columnist Dave Zirin, who writes that much of the reaction to Imus is in "how we are taught to understand sports"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Stupidity or contempt...Does it matter?

Billy Packer's reason for using "fag" -- that he was using a much lesser-known definition of the word, reflects a terrible lapse of judgment by a broadcast professional who should know the power of common language. Meanwhile, Don Imus' comment about female college basketball players can't be construed as anything less than outright contempt for female athletes and women's sports. Do either one of these broadcasters deserve one more minute of airtime?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

After the crowds have gone home: Thinking about the future of women's sports coverage

Women's college basketball was in the spotlight Tuesday night in front of a sold-out crowd in Cleveland, demonstrating the drawing power of women's team sports. Yet, still, we all know the lowly status women's sports generally take in media coverage. During a pre-tournament event for aspiring high school and college sports journalists, ESPN's Mechelle Voepel talked about how economic pressures combined with old-fashioned attitudes keep women's sports from getting coverage. She added: "It's not completely a male-female thing...It's a generational thing." Young men realize, she said, "both sexes can share." She also said that recent coverage of problems in programs at LSU and Penn State are ultimately good for women's basketball: "The usually expose something that is difficult or needs to be taken care of in college athletics."