A timely message about female sports fans
By Nicole Weissman
When the Jets cat-called TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz in the locker room this weekend, it wasn’t my place to comment. New York is a long way from here. I figured I would weigh in if, for example, Clinton Portis bridged the gap by saying something inflammatory. Thanks, Clinton, I knew you’d come through for me.
But reporters have got this particular issue covered – my personal favorite is today’s column from Sally Jenkins. Jenkins points out that, all other things aside, the locker room is a professional environment, so a) women who have business to conduct have every right to be there, and b) that environment demands professionalism from all those involved, including both players and reporters.
For my contribution, I’m going to take this issue in a different direction. If women are dismissed or underestimated as sports reporters, we are also dismissed and underestimated as sports fans. The Caps’ Scarlet Blog, which targets female hockey fans, points out that women are one of the fastest-growing segments of Caps fans. Think it’s been easy? Read on.
Frequently, it is assumed that I am at a Caps game because the players are hot. This assumption is offensive, and I really don’t need to explain why. Even more frequently, it is assumed that I am at a Caps game because my boyfriend/husband/brother/father/attractive co-worker brought me. I assure, you, if there is a man sitting next to me, nine times out of ten I dragged him along, not vice versa.
Truth be told, there are other factors at play here. I am a supporter and a member of Club Scarlet, the club that runs the aforementioned Scarlet Blog. However, I can’t help noticing that the player photos on the Club Scarlet website have a certain “come hither” look that is absent from the ones on the regular Caps site. And, like many female sports fans, I have decidedly mixed feelings about cheerleaders and their recent hockey counterparts, including the Caps’ Red Rockers. As for sports apparel in women’s sizes, I am pleased to say this area is improving, though personally, rhinestones and jerseys rendered in shades of pink are hardly the feminine touches I had in mind.
This post has materialized into an opportunity for me to spout off, and I didn’t intend it that way. My message to female reporters is this: I support your work. And to female sports fans: In time, sexism in this area will fall away. For every guy who gives me a hard time, I have met a dozen guys who admire and respect my sports knowledge. Meanwhile, take satisfaction in those moments when a man questions what you’re doing there, and you tell him you went to a practice last week and you’re anxious to see if the PK drills materialize into a more forecheck heavy penalty kill, since you’re just not partial to the easy clear. Add a wink. The face is just priceless.
Box Seats blogger
| September 16, 2010; 2:47 PM ET
Categories: Capitals, Nicole Weissman | Tags: Capitals, Clinton Portis, Ines Sainz
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