Serious sports journalists like Sloane Martin, who happen to be women, fight an uphill battle at times in the male-dominated field. Regardless of the quality of their work, they will be marginalized by some simply because of their gender.
Such was the case this past weekend when Martin, who is a reporter at WCJW in Rochester, NY and will be The Cardinal Nation’s Batavia correspondent this summer, took exception to sexist comments from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Joe Cowley shared on Twitter.
In a follow-on series of tweets, Cowley then directed additional inappropriate remarks at Martin before his account was deleted. She maintained her dignity throughout the episode and afterward while the Chicagoan clearly did not.
As if the job isn’t difficult enough already for women, we have reporter Julie Tristan from KSDK Channel 5 in St. Louis. Tristan offers Exhibit A of what the Cowleys of the world dream about.
Assigned to do a David Freese feature, Tristan completely abandoned any shred of professionalism, flirting with the St. Louis Cardinals star and directing a series of embarrassing comments toward him while on camera. She ended her segment by telling the player, “I love you.” (See a summary of Tristan’s remarks and full video here.)
Can you imagine the ramifications had a male reporter attempted such a stunt with a female athlete? How can these kinds of double-standards be allowed to exist in this day and age?
It is a shame that there are still Tristans out there masquerading as professionals, while providing fuel for sexists like Cowley. They make life more difficult for the Martins of the world who are trying to make a living as credible journalists.