Being a woman in the workplace has its challenges even today, but being a woman trying to break into the field of sports presents an even greater challenge.
As a sports journalist, my own hopes have their roadblocks as the field is predominantly run by men. What is it about a man that immediately makes audiences associate him with sports? Why is it that when a woman is appointed to call a MLB playoff game, the nation goes crazy with backlash and criticism?
Jessica Mendoza works as an analyst and reporter for ESPN and is a graduate of Stanford University. Mendoza made a name for herself early in both the world of softball and in the more general world of sports.
In 2004, she helped the USA softball team win gold in the Olympics in Athens and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In 2007, Mendoza joined ESPN, where she regularly covers the College World Series and the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
Recently, Mendoza made history by becoming the first female to call a nationally televised MLB playoff game. Prior, she became the first ESPN MLB game analyst on Monday Night Baseball, where she would eventually become a regular analyst on Sunday Night Baseball for the season.
After the announcement was made, Mendoza received criticism. Among the critics, however, were a wave of supporters, too.
Women like Mendoza pave the way for women breaking into the sports broadcast field.
She serves as a pioneer and a game-changer in the way people view how major league games should be called.
The typical voice a viewer hears when watching a nationally televised sporting event is male. It is time we change the voice. If more women started calling high-profile sports games, the more normal hearing a woman giving the play-by-play would become.
In 2015, the year of major social changes, the sports field should welcome the idea.