Thursday on the Lo-Down we had a really engaging conversation with ESPN analyst Doris Burke. Nothing unusual there. Doris has been on our show a couple of times before and she’s a friend of mine. She’s incredibly knowledgable and insightful when it comes to the game of basketball. She’s regularly an analyst throughout the season and works with the A-Team of Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Mike Breen for the biggest games of the year as well the NBA Finals. Last year, she called our show the day after standing on the podium with LeBron James as he accepted the Larry O’Brien trophy after winning the Cavs, and the city of Cleveland, an NBA Championship.
Yet – it wasn’t always that way. Having a personal interest in woman broadcasting mens sporting events, I used to monitor social media when Doris would do an NBA game or a high profile college basketball game. She’d get trashed with the usual sexist remarks about a woman’s inability to call a mans game. Or the classic, “get in the kitchen” tweets. In fact, you could take all the hateful tweets directed at Doris Burke, remove her name, and add any of the following…
And now, Beth Mowins.
The message would generally be the same. We don’t want women calling a mans sport. Doris, Kara, and Jessica have won over most of the haters in that sexist audience because their incredible amount of knowledge, insight, and the fact they make every broadcast they’re on significantly better.
Beth Mowins, who will join us on The Lo-Down Friday at 12:30pm, will be the first woman to call a Monday Night Football game, as her and Rex Ryan will be in the booth for the second game of the week 1 double header between the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos. As we all know, football is an entirely different animal. It is not basketball. It is not baseball. It is an institution. People don’t like their institutions messed with.
So ask yourself these questions…
Do you have a problem with a woman calling a game?
Is the problem because she’s bad at her job?
Or is the problem because she’s a women?
Do you believe a women can’t call a game as well as a man? If so, why.
These are uncomfortable questions for some who probably don’t have the most PC answers. Theres nothing wrong with not liking Beth Mowins (or Kara Lawson, Doris Burke, or Jessica Mendoza). But if you don’t like them simply because they’re women, the problem lies within you, not their ability to do their job.