My latest book, published by Rowman and Littlefield in June, continues my pursuit of women sports pioneers, only this time they are women in sports journalism. I can’t help but believe that most of the women in my new book benefitted from Title IX as much, if not more, than the basketball players I wrote about in Finding a Way to Play did.
That is, as more and more women athletes gained the opportunity to play in the 1970s, and sports such as women’s basketball gained quite a following, the male-dominated media came around to the idea that some of these teams, such as the Mighty Macs of the AIAW, and Wayland Baptist University’s Flying Queens, needed some coverage. So that caused some of the more progressive male editors to wonder: if we’re writing about women in sports, why aren’t we hiring women to write about sports?
Of course there were a lot of other factors at play (like the threat of discrimination lawsuits), but it’s safe to say that the 1970s, thanks to Title IX, led to the understanding that sports coverage, as well as who covered sports, needed to be more inclusive.
As I point out in my book, many, many women piggybacked on the shoulders of the earliest pioneers: Lesley Visser, Christine Brennan, Andrea Kremer, Robin Roberts, Claire Smith, and a host of others, who began writing and broadcasting sports in the 70s and 80s.
As with my basketball book, I had an interest in writing about these women because I was one of them, at least briefly. I wrote sports for the Portland Press Herald for three years before moving on to the news and features departments. The book was a labor of love and gave me the opportunity to envision what my life might have been like if I hadn’t made the switch to news.
If I’ve piqued your interest at all and you’d like a discounted copy of the book, direct from the publisher, use this link. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538161456/Who-Let-Them-In-Pathbreaking-Women-in-Sports-Journalism. You’ll have to create an account. Once you do, you can use this discount code. RLFANDF30.
Like most authors, I’d love to know what you think, so feel free to leave a comment. Better yet, leave your thoughts in the form of a review on Amazon.com.