Column: Sexism in sports media emerges again

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The sports media world has seen its fair share of controversy regarding misogynistic comments in recent years. Unfortunately, sexism and sports media tend to intersect quite often.

The most recent incident came on Monday night during the Titans-Broncos game on ESPN when Dan McNeil, a host for the Chicago sports radio station 670 The Score, made an inappropriate comment regarding sideline reporter Maria Taylor, a comment that rightfully cost McNeil his job Tuesday.

In a now deleted tweet, McNeil said, “NFL sideline reporter or a host for the AVN annual awards presentation.”

The AVN Awards are an annual presentation for the adult film industry. Clearly McNeil found something overtly sexual about Taylor’s outfit on the broadcast, but that says more about him than it does about what she was wearing.

Taylor responded on Twitter, saying, “Well Danny Dearest if you would like to continue making sexist comments about me… please bring your misogyny with you to the NBA Countdown double header I’ll be hosting tomorrow night. Hey ladies remember that you can wear whatever you feel confident in.”

She also received an outpouring of support from members of the sports world, including Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and many of her colleagues at ESPN.

Taylor was dressed in a completely normal and non-offensive outfit, and McNeil finding a degrading sexual undertone to it is just one example of a serious problem in the sports media world. 

Men seem to have a real problem taking female broadcasters seriously and only seem to be focused on their appearance.

Sexism is rooted deeply in every aspect of our society, but it is in industries like sports where men have traditionally been the most prominent.

When women begin to rightfully earn their places in the sports media world, many men seem to feel threatened by it. They feel like women are taking their place and are afraid that men will begin to become less powerful.

All that is happening is that women are finally getting the recognition that they have deserved in the sports media world for decades.

Taylor does not have her job because of her appearance. She has it because she is talented and good at what she does.

But no matter what women like Taylor do or how well they do it, many men see them as sex objects. They are either wear clothes that are too sexy or wear clothes that are not sexy enough.

Why can’t women just do their jobs without the constant need for men to comment on their appearances?

It is something that I am sick of, and have been for years. It is frustrating and upsetting to read about comments like the one McNeil made.

And if I, a white male, am fed up with these comments, I can only imagine how the women who are subjected to them must feel.

Sexist comments are so pervasive in sports media that McNeil’s comments are not the only ones from a host on The Score in recent years.

In 2015, when a colleague tweeted about a female boradcaster, Dan Bernstein of The Score responded by saying, “I have no rooting interest in her work, but enjoy her giant boobs.”

Bernstein remains employed at the station after issuing an on-air apology the day after his comment.

Before men make comments like this on social media, they need to really think about how the women who are mentioned must feel when they see them.

These women have to work hard every day regardless of their gender, and then have to work even harder to deal with sexism and discrimination. When men like McNeil and Bernstein tweet out comments like that, they are likely intending for them to be funny.

But the intent does not matter when the comments are in fact derogatory and offensive.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]