Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is Fox Sports Sexist?

Fox Sports has made decisions that I don’t agree with. They relate to women and it has this sports fan asking this question; is Fox Sports Sexist? This is an opinion piece and I look at a couple of incidents that have me shaking my head. Sexism in these cases isn’t overt or necessarily apparent. What is apparent is insensitivity to women and the chasing of the almighty greenback.

Hockey Day Minnesota


Every winter Minnesota hosts an all-day/all state event called Hockey Day Minnesota. The event showcases hockey at all levels all the way to the pros. In fact the live events culminate with a Minnesota Wild hockey game.

It’s a great day of hockey that shows Minnesotans all of what the state has to offer. Almost that is. Every year, Fox Sports North televises only one girls hockey game. It is a high school game but it’s never televised live. It’s televised at 11:00 PM at night when most Minnesotans are either in bed or getting ready for bed.

Young girls around the state are in bed by the time this game is finally televised. That’s a shame. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for girls in Minnesota to watch one precious game live? I’ve been critical of Fox Sports North’s decision to relegate the girls’ game to the gutter of television.

Media personalities on the network allude to how far women’s hockey has come but why not showcase it? It’s only one game? Is it because of money/perceived ratings? Is it because the powers to be don’t think that girl’s hockey is good enough for its live viewing audience?

Only Fox Sports knows the answer to that question. Fox Sports North also does short stories about hockey players and parents around the state. Maybe I missed it but I haven’t seen a story focusing on a female hockey player? Why not? Why not? Maybe it has been on (during the 11:00 PM showing) but is it on live and when people are actually awake to see it?

Pam Oliver


Fox Sports has announced that the younger and more attractive Erin Andrews will be replacing the more experienced and respected veteran Pam Oliver. Fox Sports won’t admit it but I believe Pam Oliver is being replaced because Fox Sports wants what they perceive as a more attractive, younger female. If that is the case, do you think that would mean that Fox Sports is sexist?

Pam Oliver is a good reporter. She does her job well. She is respected by her peers and the people in the game. While it may be nice to see a young pretty face for about three seconds, I prefer a knowledgeable and experienced sideline reporter who understands football.

It’s insulting to my intelligence that Fox Sports might be thinking that I don’t care about quality, only glitz and pizazz. That’s not the case. I like Pam Oliver and I’m saddened that she may have been kicked to the curb because she is an older woman.

Her male counterparts who are in the booth or conducting interviews are sometimes old, obese and not what I would call attractive. I wonder what the NFL’s female fans think of that. Maybe they want Chippendale’s Dancers to take to the sidelines and do the reporting. The NFL claims that nearly 50% of its fans are female. Maybe Fox Sports thinks that women don’t need eye candy and that they care more about the game and the network’s content.

Maybe Fox Sports only cares and caters to their male counterparts who they think are Neanderthals who foam at the bit when they see an attractive sideline reporter.


Is Fox Sports Sexist? I’m not sure I’d go that far. It’s your call. I do believe that the network is insensitive to women, especially its female audience.


Pam Oliver

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3 comments:

  1. Why are you assuming that because Andrews is younger and more attractive than Oliver that she is less knowledgeable and would not do as good a job as Oliver? That is an entirely sexist point of view. Its not like Andrews was plucked off the street and handed the job because she is pretty. She has many years of experience in this type of position and seems to be as qualified as anyone else. If you have some examples that show Andrews as not being qualified, then you should have supplied them rather than just suggesting she is not qualified because of her looks. Its possible to be both attractive and qualified to be a sideline reporter - to suggest otherwise as you have done is sexist.

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    Replies
    1. Oliver is experienced and I've seen both. Oliver does a much better job than Andrews. Many sports don't like Andrews. I never said she would do a worse job. My point was why was a more experienced and respected reported demoted for the younger less experienced one?

      Once again, I never said she wouldn't do as a good a job.

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  2. Its one thing to lose a job to someone with no experience, but replacing someone with 20 years (as a guess) with someone who has 10 years of experience (another guess) is nothing out of the ordinary. It happens all the time in every type of business.

    You did not say she would do a worse job, but your objection has to imply that she would not do a better job (which is valid justification for the change). As far as what you wrote, the only evidence you presented that she would not do a better job is that she is more attractive. If it was just about looks, don't you think they could find someone prettier than Andrews? She is attractive, but there are certainly much more attractive woman than her that would jump at the opportunity.

    If you have other reasons to think she would not do a better job, then you should have listed them. As it appeared in your article, the big knock you had on Andrews was that she was younger and more attractive than Oliver.

    I am sure lots of people don't like Andrews. They probably judge he football knowledge based on her looks, and who she was exploited in the past.

    ReplyDelete

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