Monday, April 16, 2018
Bias appears to show in sports coverage
I want to bring attention to the gender bias of the reporting on the two Final Four basketball tournaments. The Friday night women's semi-finals pitted four No. 1 seeds in two fantastic battles, both ending in overtime. How could the lead up to that game be relegated to Page 6C while Wally Hall is reporting Final Four men's trivia on Page 1C?
Then I get up Saturday hoping to see a side-by-side comparison of the two games, including Notre Dame's stopping the University of Connecticut unbeaten season, only to see that game get a one-line score and one measly sentence on Page 6C (again).
Then comes Sunday, showing an angry white guy from Michigan and the workup to the NCAA Women's Championship game to be decided that night relegated to 6C (yet again) beside the continuing Michigan story and below the Men's Final Four decision tree with the woman's tree not presented and no pictures.
Lo and behold, you recover too late on Monday with good reporting on the Notre Dame final win and (finally) recognition for Arike Ogunbowale in her second heart-stopping, winning shot.
What's driving this bias? Is it sports betting and handicapping? Is it a general bias against females in sports? Is it reluctance to acknowledge women play better together in team sports? Is it discouraging that they can put their egos aside for the team when men can't or don't?
We are getting so far from the idea of sport for sport's sake that it's disgusting. As an 81-year-old white guy I still cling to ideas such as "win or lose with grace," "don't be angry but disappointed," "acknowledge a competitor's superior achievement," "live to have a better day," and "you learn nothing as valuable as what you learn from mistakes or failure."
I had the privilege of being a college manager (read go-fer) of the baseball and swimming teams. I got a first-hand behind-the-scenes awareness of the trials, tribulations, elations and joys of winning and losing. Yes, it's better to win and I generally root for the underdog as there is nothing as thrilling as seeing a David slay a Goliath.
Excuse my rant, but I want to see more gender equality and enthusiastic reporting for the minor sports such as women's soccer, track and field, gymnastics and field hockey. The makeup of Northwest Arkansas includes more outsiders from all over the country. Perhaps there would be more subscribers with more national sports news on all sports.
Commentary on 04/17/2018
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