Women of Color in Sports Media

“Thus, while the casting for Pope was about intentionally auditioning women of color, the actual part required the actress to transcend the fixed reality of her race so she could become the (color-blind) character Rhimes (and a White- dominated mainstream culture) needed her to be.”

Kristen Warner does an outstanding job dissecting ABC’s hit prime-time series Scandal, as it is one of the most debated and controversial shows on the air. I will openly admit that Scandal is my absolute favorite show on Netflix, and there are multiple relationships throughout the show that needed to be broken down further, which is exactly what Warner did. She addressed why Black women’s fandoms have been ignored up to this point. She demonstrated how Black female fan communities worked to fill in racially specific gaps to make Olivia Pope a more culturally specific black woman. The article centered on black women in fan studies, but I want to address the above quote and how it relates to sports media in 2018. In many ways, I strongly feel as though women of color on sports television try to hide their true identify, their real personalities, are afraid to overstep and take chances, simply due to public scrutiny. The world that we live in today is so judgmental, cruel, and unfair that people are afraid to take risks in order to achieve greatness. Women of color face some of the greatest obstacles in the world that we live in today. However, if I was to ever talk to a women of color in sports media, and ask her if she was truly being herself on television, I would assume she would answer no. These individuals on television are some of the most talented, smart, and brilliant minds in the world. If they weren’t, then they probably would have never reached the level of success that they are at due to the obstacles that were already stacked up against them as they climbed the ranks. I believe that men of color, such as Stephen A. Smith do not hold back anything. Smith does not care if people like him or not, but he will always be true to himself and people respect that. If the world wants to close the gender gap and further the push for equality, then women of color on television cannot give into the white dominated mainstream culture, they have to be themselves.