Jessica Mendoza makes sports history, then shows us how shut down sexist trolls
Women have been breaking glass ceilings left and right this year, especially in the male-dominated world of sports. Last month, Sarah Thomas served as the first full-time female ref in a NFL game while Becky Hammon has been killing it as the first full-time female assistant coach in any of the four major sports.
And this week, ESPN anchor Jessica Mendoza joined their illustrious ranks when she became the first woman to call a nationally-televised MLB game, which saw the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees in a post-season wild card match. The moment was a historic one—so, of course, Mendoza faced a wave of sexism on Twitter:
But as Mendoza—a two-time Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. Softball team—pointed out in an interview with Good Morning America, she’s not listening to the haters, especially since she has way more supporters.
“Any time there is a change, there’s normally a lot of resistance,” she said. “I think the [thing I was most] excited about was the aftermath and how much support there really was.” In fact, in our own totally unscientific analysis of the Twitter response to Mendoza, it seemed as if only 1 in 20 tweets were negative and/or sexist, including one in which Atlanta-based sportscaster Mike Bell accused ESPN of being “too frigging cute” in its decision to put “a women’s softball slugger” in the booth.
Bell got suspended for two weeks and apologized for his remarks, but not before getting burned by a Mendoza supporter:
“I accept his apology,” Mendoza told GMA. “Yes, I am a female, but I want it to get to the point where, let’s think about what I am saying, what I am doing, and not so much the sex that I am. I want to get to a point when we hear a female voice on NBA, NFL, or just anything in men’s sports, and it is like, ‘Sweet. She’s doing a good job.’”
We couldn’t agree more. Keep up the good work, lady!
(Image via Instagram)