Although many more females are gaining better and more prized jobs in the sports media industry, they’re still not getting the full respect that they deserve.
Houston Astros prospect Brooks Marlow is the latest example for the lack of respect.
Marlow recently tweeted and later deleted insensitive comments about ESPN Baseball Analyst Jessica Mendoza in which he stated: “No lady needs to be on ESPN.”
Now, there are many problems with this statement. For one, although we are all within our right to freely express our opinion, Marlow has to understand that he is in contract with the Astros, a professional sports franchise. Due to this, he is a representative of the Astros and their ideals as a franchise because they drafted him and believed in not only his ability as a player, but in his overall character as a person. After the immediate backlash that Marlow received from the tweet, the Astros made a statement that they in no way support the tweet and will discipline Marlow accordingly. A sensible and predictable answer any franchise or business will give.
The next problem with this is that in a society where women have been fighting for equal rights for such a long time and are starting to gain access and opportunities into a lot of jobs that have been predominantly consumed by men, Marlow’s tweet exemplifies how much more needs to be done in this situation. If you look at the tweet, Marlow doesn’t make any mention to Mendoza’s name and address her properly, instead, he refers to his as “lady.” What this does is put all women in a box and limit the contributions that they have made to the sports landscape, while also disrespecting the qualifications of Mendoza herself that landed her the job.
Let’s look into those qualifications so that not only Marlow, but anyone who feels that Mendoza, or any woman isn’t qualified to talk about a sport such as baseball or any sports showcased on ESPN.
Mendoza is a fast pitch softball legend. She was a four time All-American at Stanford University. She was a United States Softball Olympian from 2004-2010 where she helped our country win the Gold Medal in 2004 and Silver Medal in 2008. During her time with the U.S. team, she accumulated a career .432 batting average, hitting 35 home runs with 163 RBI’s. She tallied a career total of 164 hits. Amazing stats for an amazing players.
In essence, Mendoza is more qualified than anyone to talk about a sport like baseball because she was one of greatest softball players in history. Softball although different, is conceptually the same as baseball where you have the task, as a hitter, of hitting an incredibly fast moving object within a matter of milliseconds. Mendoza was able to master the art of hitting during her career and possesses knowledge to expound upon it in a baseball setting. She also was a stellar outfielder so she has the ability to expound upon the fielding aspects of baseball as well as baserunning and pitching. End of story.
Let’s get into some broadcasting credentials.
She’s put in her work at ESPN where she began working as an analyst on the heralded “Baseball Tonight” show in 2014. She was also the first female broadcaster for The College World Series (baseball) where she was alongside longtime commentator Karl Ravech. From that experience, she became the first female analyst for a Major League Baseball game in 2015 and became the first female to be in the booth for an MLB postseason game that same year.
Mendoza, as well as many other female athletes and broadcasters, have trail blazed paths for women in sports on and off the field. Instead of continuing to look down on them, we must first do our research and respect and fully appreciate and honor them because they have done so much for all of our sports that cannot be calculated in just mere stats.
Marlow, as well as anyone else who shares his sentiments: Learn to give women their respect, especially when you’re just a prospect talking about a legend in women’s sports who will probably have a much better and way more decorated career than you are projected to have.
Do you believe that women deserve more respect in sports media? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3