More Women Are Athletes, But Sports Reporters Are Still Mostly Men

Feb 28, 2014

Credit Jim Larrison / Creative Commons

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972  gave women the same rights to educational opportunities as men at every level of schooling.

While the law says that schools must give equal consideration to men and women when deciding who gets admitted to a school, who gets financial aid, and where a student lives while at school, the clause allowing women entrance to sports has long overshadowed the rest. 

Women have made impressive gains in the last 42 years. In 1972, one in 27 girls played high school sports. Today, two in five play a sport. In college, over 200,000 women play today, compared to less than 30,000 in 1972.

But those numbers haven't translated to an increase in female coaches or sports journalists. The Women's Media Center in Washington D.C. says that 90 percent of sports journalists are white men, and that only one percent of the 183 hosts of sports talk shows ranked on the "Heavy Hundred" list from Talkers Magazine are women.

Why are women underrepresented in sports? Is it because too few women choose to enter the field, or a prejudice that disregards their contribution?

This is what KNBR sports radio host Damon Bruce had to say:

“I enjoy many of the women’s contributions to sports — well that’s a lie. I can’t even pretend that’s true. There are very few — a small handful — of women who are any good at this at all. That’s the truth. The amount of women talking in sports to the amount of women who have something to say is one of the most disproportionate ratios I’ve ever seen in my freakin’ life. But here’s a message for all of them … All of this, all of this world of sports, especially the sport of football, has a setting. It’s set to men... It’s a man’s world.”

Four pioneering women debated that issue on the Colin McEnroe Show on February 25.