June 14, 2020

Three speakers with plenty to say

Julio Vega

Speaking with three people who work in three separate sectors of the sports media industry gave me valuable insight into what it’s really like to work in this industry. Dr. Scott Brooks offered statistical insight on how systemic racism is present in the hiring of NFL coaches. The studies he shared with us shed light on how few opportunities coaches of color have to get into–and then stay in–the NFL. His research could help our generation of sports journalists do much more than cover games. We could effect change for social justice. Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards gave a refreshing take on the current state of society full of sports, racism and protests. His calm and intelligent responses made this one of the best and most intellectual conversations I’ve had with a coach in my time as a journalist. “The story always starts with why,” he said, adding that if we allow our reporting to “become personal” we would “lose all accountability” with our sources. His words will help me make better decisions in my future career. Finally, our conversation with media critic Richard Deitsch of The Athletic gave us a bluntly honest reality check about the current state of the sports journalism industry and left me glad that this long day was rounded out by listening to someone I can look up to.

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