Editorial: Uh… play ball?

North Wind Staff

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, a former All-American softball star made sports history when she became the first woman to call a nationally televised championship baseball game. Already an up-and-coming voice at ESPN, Jessica Mendoza’s shining moment should have ended in happiness.re-NWLogoSocialMedia

Instead, it incited a firestorm of controversy on social media from irate baseball fans who believe the announcer’s box should be off limits to women.

With comments like “can this woman announcer stop talking” and “the fact that I have to listen to this woman announcer all night is making me lose my mind,” it is surprising how unabashedly sexist people can be in this day and age.

Some fans even commented how surprised they were that Mendoza knew what she was talking about when she made a certain call.

For the record, Mendoza is an Olympic gold and silver medalist, a softball home-run record holder at Stanford University, and is the daughter of a baseball coach. She has spent her entire life around the sport.

Why, then, is the baseball fan community questioning her qualifications? In her own defense, Mendoza said in an article with Buzzfeed that the analytical strategies shared between softball and baseball are nearly “identical.”

The North Wind stands behind Mendoza and does not condone the backlash she’s received for doing her job well.

She is a successful, knowledgeable and confident woman who deserves this job, and  is paving the way for future female athletes who can look to her as motivation on how to survive in a male-dominated world of sports.

Those on social media trivialized this woman’s hard work by generalizing all women as “bimbos,” when in fact women can have just as much passion for a “man’s” sport as their opposite sex.

While the championship season is over, we hope to see a change in attitude next season.

To see women become more involved in professional sports is a refreshing change that will undoubtedly bring more people to get involved in watching sports. It’s a win-win situation for female announcers, sports venues, and television ratings.

Let’s get with the program.