Dignity, respect and the locker room

The day of my return to Buffalo from Esprit Montreal and my first Ironman finish, Best Boyfriend Mark was navigating the endurance mobile while I was waiting to return to U.S. cellular tower airwaves to check my email messages.

And that’s when I began to realize that my tour of rest, overeating and jubilation would be cut short.

As in, I had the rest of the car ride to enjoy my triumph.

Upon my return home, duties were awaiting me as the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media. While I was slugging out my 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run, there was an alleged incident at the New York Jets practice involving a female sports reporter. (Enter the “byline” portion of the blog.)

And so I got up to speed with other members of AWSM and we went into action coordinating statements and dealing with media requests.

My official take as AWSM president, and a sports writer of the female gender, and be found in today’s edition of The Buffalo News.

Yes, girls not only play sports, but we write about them as well.

There have been questions of the reporter’s role in this situation as Ines Sainz is attractive, dresses in a manner that enhances her attractiveness and works for a television station (TV Azteca in Mexico) where she trades in mostly entertainment-type pieces rather than what we would traditionally consider “sports journalism.”

The way I see it, her legitimacy as a member of the “working press” is the prerogative of the New York Jets and the NFL. And once they issued her a media credential she was to be treated with respect and professionalism. Because it’s not just about how she gets treated, but the precedent that gets set about how all women in sports media are allowed to be treated.

See, female sports writers are not a homogenous group.

We have different backgrounds and different views. Our story angles and interview styles vary. Heck our very notion of style — personal and professional and every shade of gray in between — is diverse and complex and sometimes contradictory.

But at the heart of the matter, we all are called to treat each other with dignity and respect.

Because we all live in glass houses. And throwing stones, well, that just leaves a mess for everyone to clean up.


~ by amymoritz on September 17, 2010.

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