Cam Newton isn’t the only man in hot water over a sexist comment about women in the NFL media.
Mike Missanelli, a Philadelphia sports radio personality, has lost a side gig on Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate for a sexist comment about Beth Mowins calling play-by-play on Monday Night Football.
“I don’t know why the sporting world needs a female play-by-play person on an NFL game. And I know that sounds harsh, and I just want to know what is the reason for it,” Missanelli said two days after Mowins called a Week One game. “It just to me sounds unnatural for her to be calling the NFL. Now, in college, it sounds sort of unnatural as well. But I can live with college. But this is prime time, Monday Night Football. I didn’t catch a lot of the game. Was she good? If she did a good job, then I’m wrong.”
Missanelli said this week that the Philadelphia ABC affiliate let him go from a weekend job he had on the station because of those comments. He acknowledged that he has no one to blame but himself.
What Missanelli didn’t seem to consider is that ESPN didn’t have a need for a female announcer, but rather had a need for an announcer and considered Mowins the best person for the job. Nearly everyone who has weighed in on Mowins’ work in Week One agrees that she did the job well. She generally got better reviews than her partner in the booth, Rex Ryan, and got much better reviews than sideline reporter Sergio Dipp, who was so bad the first time ESPN went to him that he disappeared from the rest of the broadcast.
And complaining that a woman “sounds unnatural” on a football broadcast is reminiscent of the people who once upon a time openly complained that it seemed “unnatural” for a black man to be a coach or a quarterback. Successful black coaches and successful black quarterbacks have thankfully consigned that way of thinking to the dustbin of history.
Successful female broadcasters like Mowins will do the same to those who think female announcers sound unnatural. But that shouldn’t have to be part of Mowins’ job. Her job should just be to talk about the game, without having an additional burden placed on her by people like Missanelli.