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“Oh, you’re a fan of the Golden State Warriors? List their starting five from 1986 then.”

“You probably only watched the Superbowl for the halftime performance.”

“I bet you only like the Dodgers because you think Bellinger and Seager are hot.”

And the list goes on.


blonde woman with ponytail with her head in her hands leaning over a laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

 

Being a woman that enjoys watching and learning about sports can be challenging, and almost discouraging at times. We aren’t taken as seriously as men in the sports industry due to the assumption of us not knowing as much about a specific sport, or because of our intentions for wanting to be in the industry. When I began my sports broadcasting journey, my intentions were constantly being questioned. Many people, specifically men, assumed my interest in basketball and the NBA stemmed from me finding the players in the league attractive. The same went for the reason why I was a Golden State Warriors fan. Many assumed I was just a fan of them because they were really good at the time or because I thought Stephen Curry was attractive. And while yes, I’ll agree with them that Steph Curry is a good-looking man, that wasn’t the reason I was drawn into the Warriors. I became a fan through my younger brother.

I had bought him tickets to a Golden State Warriors game some years back and wanted to make sure that none of the players had been injured because it was his first time going to see his favorite team play. I sat myself in front of the television every night for 2 months watching the games so I could see if anyone had gotten injured and because of this, I ended up really liking the way that Klay Thompson played. He became my favorite player on that team, which is what continued to bring me back to watching the Warriors play, even after we had attended our game. Prior to that, I had been relatively indifferent to NBA teams, mainly because I didn’t keep up with them enough to have a legitimate opinion on what teams and players I liked. All I knew up to that point was that my family rooted for the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant because that was my dad’s favorite team and player.

However, I now constantly keep track of player and team stats, and I have purchased the NBA league pass so I can continue to learn and stay updated on all the relevant information I need in order to be successful as a broadcaster in the NBA. I have even begun to watch and learn football and baseball so that I can potentially pursue a broadcasting career in the NFL and MLB. This year, I made it a point to sit down and watch the entire Superbowl because I finally understood how football worked and knew what the statistics and remarks commentators were mentioning meant. It was enjoyable to sit and watch the game because I understood everything that was going on. But then, that following Monday, I went on to social media to find hundreds of people making jokes about why women were tuning in to watch the Superbowl. It was either because of the commercials, the halftime performance, or because we thought Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes were cute and/or hot.


social media hcfsu
Photo by Lobo Studio Hamburg from Pixabay

These kinds of assumptions and comments aren’t new nor rare. They happen all the time, and some people are even bold enough to say it to our faces. It’s a really big let-down when you sit down with someone to have a conversation on sports, just for them to ask you hundreds of different historical and statistical questions about teams and players. Every time we go to make a single comment about a certain sport or athlete, it’s like we have to sit there with millions of stats memorized or else we’ll be told we’re only into it because of the attractive players or that we’re just “bandwagoners.” And don’t even get me started on the sexist “go back to the kitchen where you belong” comments. 


miami heat basketball
Photo by Andre Tan from Unsplash

I would like to think that, as a society, we’ve gotten to a mutual understanding that sports is not just for one gender to appreciate. There are a lot more women out there who genuinely enjoy watching, debating, and participating in sports. And it’s unfortunate for all of the men that are crediting us and helping us play a bigger role in an industry that’s widely-regarded as a “male-dominated” one because sometimes, they’re thrown into a pile that they don’t belong in when we say that men don’t give us enough respect. However, I will say that 99.9% of the men who work in the sports industry alongside us are always willing to help and defend us against those who try to make sexist comments or degrade our knowledge strictly because we are women and not men. But sometimes I do wonder if it’s ever occurred to these closed-minded people, maybe us women just really like the sport and that’s all there is to it.

Ariana Salinas

Cal Lutheran '25

Student at Cal Lutheran University majoring in Sports Communications. Aspiring sideline reporter with a passion for journalism, art, and fashion.
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