Earlier today, while walking through Target (of all places), it hit me (admittedly, several days late) that A. I owe Erin Andrews a big apology; B. I’m an idiot.
Admittedly, Erin Andrews probably doesn’t read this blog. But perhaps she heard of the post I wrote last week—the one where I called her “the Kardashian of televised sports.”
In a word: Awful.
Writers are responsible for their words. They’re supposed to measure what they write, then measure it again and again and again. Sometimes, unfortunately, I fail to measure. An impulse shoots through my brain, and I fire away, press SAVE, then press PUBLISH. I have an idea of what I want to convey, but I don’t bother to make sure it’s conveyed properly.
Guilty, times 1,000.
First, what the blog was supposed to convey: I love televised sports. But I hate (I mean, truly hate) the way network executives have reserved the sideline reporter position for women, while keeping the play-by-play and lead analyst roles almost exclusively male. I have met many, many, many women in sports media who offer tremendous insight; who know the game as well as anyone you’ll meet; who can break down plays like Chuck Noll and explain the intricacies like Kenny Smith. And yet, they are rarely considered for the key two slots.
Furthermore, when it comes to women reporters, networks (in my opinion) place too great an emphasis on looks. I know … I know—it’s a visual medium, and attractiveness draws viewers. Still, it strikes me as an awful double standard. Nobody’s demanding beauty and sexiness from, say, Chris Berman or Joe Buck or Stuart Scott. Yet it seems that—bottom line—women with sex appeal have an inside track over women with fantastic knowledge and poise but, say, a belly. Or a mole. I get it. Really, I do. It just infuriates me, because I’ve known very talented women who have felt they don’t really have a shot.
So … that’s what I meant to convey. And, interestingly, I received several e-mails from women in sports media, thanking me for making the point. But, ultimately, I failed miserably. I blasted Erin Andrews and killed the entire intent. The post wound up being juvenile and stupid. Some accused me of being sexist—which fucking tore at my insides, in that the whole goal was to speak on behalf of women. Boy, that went over well.
I don’t know Erin Andrews. I’ve heard she’s a nice person who works hard.
She certainly didn’t deserve this nonsense.
My apology. Sincerely.
PS: To the people on Twitter who have expressed your disgust with me—100 percent right on. One. Hundred. Percent. I earned it.
PPS: An important point: Oftentimes, when people work for corporations, the corporate entity forces an apology in a neatly worded statement. To be clear: I work for no one. I’m apologizing because my post sucked, and she deserved better. No other motive. I was wrong—period.