Michael Hiestand's USA Today column discusses comments by NBC's Andrea Kremer about ESPN's decision to marginalize two female MNF sideline reporters. It's unfortunate, agreed. But, as Hiestand points out, CBS has already dropped its sideline reports, so MNF's decision here should not be a surprise. The sideline role has become virtually the only place where women covering big-time sports get face time (which is measured in seconds, not minutes) -- and it has been framed as a dispensable role.
Kremer charges that ESPN's decision "sets back women." I would argue that when it comes to sports TV, they simply couldn't be set back much more than they were before ESPN's announcement. Women have always been on the sidelines in relationship to televised sports -- and that's the bigger problem.