Sports will always be a man’s world; that’s just how it goes. However, Title IX is celebrating its anniversary this year, marking 40 years that it has been trying to make men and women equal in the sports world.
Title IX, passed in 1972, states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” High school and collegiate athletics ended up being the groups affected the most by Title IX, but initially, the focus was on hiring and employment of women.
A study in 2006 found that women participation in college sports increased 450% after Title IX passed in 1972, since the institutions were from then on required to give the same amount of money, offer the same amount of accommodations and overall give the same treatment to the female athletes as they gave to the male athletes.
In a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, espnW is running a countdown of the 40 greatest female athletes of the past 40 years until every weekday until June 22. You can find the picks on Sports Center.
As well-known as female journalists such as Erin Andrews can be, male journalists are still mightily more prominent than female journalists. According to the 2008 Racial and Gender Report Card of The Associated Press Sports Editors, only six percent of sports editors were women, 10 percent of the assistant sports editors were women, seven percent of the columnists were women, nine percent of the reporters were women and 16 percent of the copy editors/designers were women.
From the previous report card issued in 2006, women increased in number of sports editors and copy editors/designers while they decreased in assistant sports editors, reporters and support staff and clerks. All in all, in 2008, women made up 11.5 percent of total staff of APSE members while in 2006, women made up 12.6 percent. The APSE was given an “F” in every aspect pertaining to equality of genders, meaning that the percentage of women in APSE was below 22 percent for every single category.
Though women and men are supposed to be treated the same, female sports journalists are clearly not held in as high a regard as men. For example, when running a simple Google search for “Female sports journalists,” the first two search results are “The 20 Sexiest Sports Reporters of 2012” and “10 Sexiest Female Sports Reporters.”
Although almost all women breaking into the world of sports media are able to maintain a professional demeanor in the appropriate setting, there are a few female sports journalists out there who give them all a bad name. Recently, the video of Julie Tristan’s interview with World Series MVP David Freese has gone viral. In the video, Tristan giggles almost the whole time, asks Freese if he is married, asks his preference in female’s hair color and overall makes a complete fool of herself. Every journalist in the world would cringe while watching this video. As an aspiring baseball writer myself, I was offended that what she does is considered journalism.
If you’re a female pursuing a career in sports media, don’t embarrass yourself and the rest of the journalism world by ever conducting an interview like this. Not only does it lack professionalism in every single aspect, it simply takes every female about 10 steps back in trying to accomplish anything in the sports world. Women have been fighting for equal treatment for hundreds of years now, and equality in sports for 40. If you get in this field, you should really act like it.
Watch Julie Tristan’s interview with David Freese here.