June 8, 2020

Boivin reflection

Kris Rhim

Paola Boivin had a lot to say to the class Friday afternoon. She talked about everything from navigating the field as a woman to social media etiquette. Her experiences as a woman in the locker room stood out to me the most. She described being attacked in the locker room at Dodgers Stadium when the St. Louis Cardinals were visiting.
“I go to the visitor’s clubhouse. I felt something hit my shoulder, and someone had thrown their jockstrap at me,” she said. “The guy said, are you here to interview somebody or to look at a bunch of guys’ (expletive).”

While the chances of players doing something like that today are not as likely, women are still discriminated against. After Cam Newton was asked a question about a Devin Funchess route in 2017 by Jourdan Rodrigue, who covered the team for the Charlotte Observer, Newton responded with, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes, like … it’s funny.” It’s not unusual on social media to see sexist comments, like “get in the kitchen,” on posts about the WNBA or another female sports league. Bolvin said she knew she was established in the field when negative feedback on her stories changed from, “This woman is such a bad journalist” to “This is such a bad journalist.” As a man, I would never have to deal with the things that Boivin did, and hearing her experiences first-hand has made me gain another level of appreciation for women covering sports media.

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