While it is important to recognize and uplift women regardless of the time of year, in honor of Women’s History Month, here are five of my favorite women currently working in the sports media industry:
Kendra Andrews, NBC Sports Bay Area
Prior to covering the Golden State Warriors for NBC Sports, Andrews was a Denver Nuggets beat writer for The Athletic. She did a tremendous job emphasizing the significance of Denver’s 2020 postseason run, all while highlighting the players (and people) that made it possible.
Not only that, Andrews wrote one of my favorite feature stories about standout Stanford Cardinal basketball player Fran Belibi, a dunking sensation who became the first woman (on record) to throw down an alley-oop in game.
Kendra, and her sister Malika who covered the NBA Bubble for ESPN in 2020, are a familial duo taking the sports media landscape by storm.
Katy Winge, Altitude Sports
Whether it be color commentary, sideline reporting or in-studio coverage following a game, you can always expect expert Denver Nuggets’ analysis from Katy Winge.
Winge, who played Division I basketball at Illinois State, routinely provides her Twitter following with “Keys to the Game” prior to any Nuggets’ matchup, team statistics you won’t find anywhere else and occasional comedic relief:
— Katy Winge (@katywinge) March 3, 2021
“The best way for women to be successful in this field and to get those opportunities is to be prepared beyond belief for when those doors open,” Winge said for a Women’s History Month feature in 2020. And Winge was talking from experience because in 2019, on International Women’s Day (March 8), Winge served as a third broadcaster for the Nuggets’ commentary team in a game against the Golden State Warriors.
“I was so prepared and ready that I wanted to crush it to the point where they said ‘ok, she can do this let’s give her some games on her own,'” Winge said.
Jordan Ligons and Haley O’ Shaughnessy, Spinsters
This dynamic duo recently started their own podcast, Spinsters, which puts a “spin” on basketball conversations. They recently produced a feature story about Magic Johnson’s 1991 HIV diagnosis while drawing comparisons to the NBA’s current handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and another feature story about dunking in women’s basketball (a great follow-up to Andrews’ Belibi article).
— haley o'shaughnessy (@HaleyOSomething) March 16, 2021
Ligons, who played Division II basketball at Point Loma Nazarene University and is an editor at MOJO, and O’ Shaughnessy, who used to write about the NBA for The Ringer, are two women providing basketball fans with exceptional original storytelling.
Jasmyn Wimbish, CBS Sports
While Wimbish produces NBA content for CBS Sports, like this story about civil rights activist and former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges, Wimbish’s Twitter is the place to be.
— Jasmyn Wimbish (@JasmynWimbish) March 18, 2021
Women belong in sports.
Actually, let me rephrase that. Women need to be in sports. Without them, the entire sports landscape would be willfully ignorant to a whole range of necessary opinions and viewpoints.
That ignorance was recently on full display when former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal told WNBA legend Candace Parker lowering the rims in women’s basketball would increase the popularity of the sport:
Candace Parker wasn't into Shaq's suggestion that the WNBA should lower the rim so that players could dunk "It's coming…My next child will be drop step dunking" pic.twitter.com/5tVkRJ3Nb4
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 17, 2021
Until we get rid of the notion that manliness is the key to success in sports, we cannot progress. Until the NCAA lives up to the standards promised in Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, we cannot move forward. And until we recognize that women are equally dedicated, if not more, to their craft as men are, sports will remain in a perpetual cycle of toxic masculinity.