Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NFL wise to condemn Portis' locker-room comments

The NFL quickly distanced itself from comments by NFL player (Washington) Clinton Portis that female reporters in the locker room are "going to want somebody."
Portis' statement is so offensive and ridiculous as not to warrant much comment. The problem with these kind of statements, though, is that they perpetuate the "locker-room looker" mythology about female sports reporters, which undermines their ability to be taken seriously as journalists in the sports setting.
Portis' comment, related to the harassment of reporter Ines Sainz by New York Jets players over the weekend, is also a timely reminder that perhaps we haven't come as far as we would like to think when it comes to fair treatment of women who cover sports.
It was 20 years ago -- almost to the day -- when sports reporter Lisa Olson was accosted by New England football players in a case that would put national attention on the blatant harassment faced by female reporters simply trying to do their jobs.
How far have we really come since that case? Incidents like those of Olson -- and, two decades later, Sainz -- and the misunderstandings around them point to the importance of organizations such as AWSM and continuing advocacy for women in the sports workplace. --M. Hardin

1 comment:

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