Betsy Ross: Women in Sports

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Betsy Ross was born in Connersville Indiana. She is a former ESPN News anchor and Sportscaster; she was one of the first women to really break into sports anchoring scene on the national level.  In 1972 she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State and later a master’s degree in speech pathology from the University of Notre Dame.

Betsy Ross’ time at ESPN wasn’t one of many trials and tribulations. When people think about male dominated professions they automatically come to the conclusion that women are treated inferior to their male counterparts. She said that everyone at ESPN were very nice and respectful people. There were two people that she mentioned enjoying to be around, Reece Davis and Keith Overman. She never had any instances where she felt out-of-place or that she was being treated unfair. She wasn’t tested or picked on by any of the men she worked with. She knew that she was looked at as an equal and not just some chick who thinks she knows something about sports.

She described working at ESPN to being in a fraternity. You’re living out in Bristol Connecticut at the ESPN compound with the people you work with.  It’s a must that you get along with the people those people. You’re really all you guys have out there and making a hostile environment isn’t good for anyone.  Like a fraternity they all sleep, eat, and have common goals and interest.

One topic that Betsy brought up in her talk was the incident that happened with the Jets and Ines Sainz, a reporter for Mexico’s TV Azteca. Briefly explaining the situation she accused the Jets players of sexual harassment. Betsy felt that she was more so in the wrong between the two parties. She said that when you’re at work, no matter the environment you have to dress the part. Ines Sainz was not even close to dressing like a journalist should. Betsy acknowledged that any type of harassment is wrong but sometimes you’re just asking for it.

There’s one side that feels that she was being inappropriately harassed while she was in the jets locker-room after a big game. Another side feels that she brought all the attention on herself when she decided to enter a locker-room full of men while wearing skin-tight jeans. In my opinion her getting harassed was wrong but she also has to realize that her attire was not appropriate for that occasion. She was working and she has to keep a higher degree of professionalism. Expecting a woman wearing revealing clothes in a football locker-room to not draw some type of attention is like leaving honey covered steaks around a grizzly bear and expecting them to not pounce at the first chance they have.

The locker-room is an athlete’s office in a sense. They allow you to come in and invade their space after every game. Even though a lot of the guys are half-naked you still have to realize that’s their locker-room and it’s your choice to enter. You should know what to expect when you enter. In my mind there’s no way that she was surprised by the looks and reactions to her attire.

Betsy is a true professional. She preaches that no matter if you’re a man or woman writing is the key to success in the media industry. Today we see more and more women getting chance to shine. The women who have made it to the top of their profession in the media world have attracted a new audience. There’s a lot of young aspiring female journalist, public relations people, broadcasters and reporters. It’s good to see diversity in a once male dominated industry.


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