NFL kept female reporter off sideline during Ice Bowl

AP

Everything about Sunday’s 50th anniversary of the Ice Bowl is positive and nostalgic and worthy of fond memories. Everything except one intriguing wrinkle, as explained by Paul Scrubas of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The game included the NFL successfully excluding a female reporter from the sidelines.

While it was apparently a coincidence that the refusal of access happened in connection with a game known for its sub-zero conditions, the full story of the Ice Bowl can’t be told without sharing the experience of Carolyn Stewart Dyer. Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures equality in the workplace for characteristics including gender and race, the team and the league refused to grant her a pass.

She pressed then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle for an explanation during a press conference. Rozelle said the league didn’t want to put women in harm’s way. So Dyer and a colleague picketed at the league’s temporary headquarters for what was then the NFL Championship game.  “NFL SIDELINES WOMEN!” the signs declared. “UNFAIR!”

She later wrote a column about it, but she opted to apply a lighter tone.

“Appearing really angry would not have served my everyday work,” Dyer told Scrubas. “I was really annoyed. I think it’s funny now, but it was a serious employment issue.”

Indeed it was. She filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She said that the complaint was dismissed on technical grounds, and at that point she let it go.

The story shows how much things have changed in the last 50 years. Still, it’s an unfortunate historical footnote for a football league that traditionally has a reputation for embracing change reluctantly.

And, yes, I made it through this entire item without making a pun about the league freezing her out of the Ice Bowl. You’re welcome.

33 responses to “NFL kept female reporter off sideline during Ice Bowl

  1. Nothing’s really changed that much when it comes to broadcast media. Sure, women are allowed on the sidelines now – but that is the only place they are for almost every game. On rare occasions, and only just recently, a woman may show up in the booth for minor games – but never the marquee matchups. And in-studio work – not a chance. They don’t even have women doing around the league weather reports anymore. And radio is no different.

  2. I don’t agree with keeping her from the sideline, but where is anything that suggests it was just a coincidence that she wasn’t allowed on the sideline due to the sub freezing temps?
    I’m sure it was known in advance that it would be brutally cold, it may not have been a coincidence at all.

  3. Men and women are not the same.
    Feminism and this whole Charlie’s Angels mentality of “Yeah! Im a strong woman who can fight and kick any man’s butt!” is the worst thing that ever happened to women.

  4. Ferdinand get with it. There are women refs and and coaches and if the majority ruled this country would have a woman president.

  5. Mr. Florio, I believe the point you mean with the, “lighter tone,” comment, is the only tone she could have taken and kept a job.

    It’s an interesting dynamic with modern day gladiators surrounded by each other and what type of behaviors they take on. Granted the collective thinking by men at the time period.

    I’d imagine the thinking isn’t too different. Evidenced by recent behaviors. One would hope that’s just the minority.

  6. Nothing’s really changed that much when it comes to broadcast media. Sure, women are allowed on the sidelines now – but that is the only place they are for almost every game. On rare occasions, and only just recently, a woman may show up in the booth for minor games – but never the marquee matchups. And in-studio work – not a chance. They don’t even have women doing around the league weather reports anymore. And radio is no different.

    ——————————————————————————————

    That’s not really true. While women are not doing the marquee matchups, they need to prove themselves and move up the ladder like anyone else. A woman did the play by play or the Bills game last week. And honestly, I thought she was horrible. That could be a reason why they are not in many booths yet. There are several pregame shows with women anchors. I did like the job Melissa Stark did but I’m not a fan of Colleen Wolfe. Anyway the point is they have to prove themselves to get the plumb assignments.

  7. Now, the networks all have a(n attractive) woman on the sidelines. The hope is that the players and coaches will be more apt to spill their guts to a pretty woman.

  8. thereyougo2 says:
    Ferdinand get with it. There are women refs and and coaches and if the majority ruled this country would have a woman president.
    * * * * * * * * *
    Nikki Haley will be the first woman president – MARK IT! The way the libs are still crying a year in, Trump will be a shoo-in for re-election in 2020, then Haley in 2024.

  9. Nikki Haley will be the first woman president – MARK IT! The way the libs are still crying a year in, Trump will be a shoo-in for re-election in 2020, then Haley in 2024.
    ————
    Well, she has already fulfilled the infidelity requirement…

  10. —————————
    TheWizard says:

    Applying the societal norms of today to the past is a fool’s errand.
    —————————

    Very convenient logic. Good luck with that strategy!

  11. Personally I prefer guys doing the coverage who actually played the game, not bimbos or feminists trying to prove a point. There are enough former players who didn’t make that much and need a job and know a lot about the game that we don’t need professional announcers for that position. Tony Siragusa comes to mind as someone I respect in that job.

  12. Maybe if the women sideline reporters stopped asking the dumb questions – Like, How does it feel to _______________ They report the most useless information and make it sound as if they are reporting WW3. Most of the time you can’t understand what they are saying even though they are yelling. Look at Mendoza on ESPN, she is even worse then Bob Costas. She thinks she in on the View with her stupid analogies and stories of her family.

  13. charliecharger says:

    Go back another 50 years and women in America were not allowed to vote. Ahhh, the good ole days. Make America great again!
    ——————————————————————————-
    As early as 1873, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) of Ohio called for the abolition of the sale of alcohol. They were soon joined in the fight by the even more powerful Anti-Saloon League (ASL), founded in 1893 in Ohio but later expanded into a national organization that endorsed political candidates and lobbied for legislation against saloons. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors…” and was ratified by the states on January 16, 1919. Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote.

    Is any of this coincidental? I think not!

  14. I suppose this would mean it is to take reruns of the Ice Bowl off the air for good?

    And as someone from South Carolina, please, please, please God do not let Haley anywhere close to the presidency. She just tricked into having an entire conversation with two Russian comedians about the fictional island of “Binomo”

  15. Seriously, a woman reporter would’ve been more at risk on the Ice Bowl sidelines than a male reporter?
    Kap and his socks targeted the wrong bunch. Should have been aimed a PFT posters.

  16. Women still can’t get on the sidelines unless they’re good looking. Talent definitely secondary, but they’ll never admit.
    Or is it because coaches/players would tell a male reporter to buzz off for that shallow interview?

  17. And 18 year old ‘Young Men’ were being drafted into an unpopular war at the time.
    So what, if some woman reporter was not allowed on the field.

  18. Can we be realistic for a second?

    She wouldn’t have lasted 15 minutes on that sideline.

    How many ice fisher women, female hockey players, and female alaskan pipeline installers are there?

    Females on average have a much less tolerance for cold.

    That’s not an insult, or slight, just the truth.

    If the truth and common sense matters anymore in our culture…..which it doesnt.

  19. That’s it! Women want equal treatment and hang out on NFL sidelines, then I’m going to the wife’s tupperware party!

  20. My guess is if she was out there, the story would be how she, as a woman, was forced to be on the sideline in cold weather while her colleagues got an extra coffee or some of them got to head inside while she didn’t.

  21. At the time it was a big deal, but she thinks it’s funny now.
    Guess it wasn’t a big deal after all.

  22. Well we have progressed from the days when women werent given a fair chance because now networks seek out attractive women for those roles and actually favor them over men. We will worry about men not getting a fair chance another day. But wait, the women have to be pretty, otherwise skill level wont even get considered. Maybe we havent progressed, just exchanged problems.

  23. Operationally, women have demonstrated they are not equal to men in reporting on MEN’S SPORTS – PERIOD. The male audience does not care how other men feel or the emotional bilge that women bring to the sidelines. We want real news about players and how the team is functioning, not how someone feels after throwing an interception.

    It is time now to ban women from covering men’s sports and to boot them from men’s locker rooms and to never allow them again.

    Of course I feel that men should never cover women’s sports as well.

    Equality is equality. As long as we treat both genders the same way then there is equality. We are not obligated to ruin sports by having those who cannot manage to do their jobs.

    I would, however, be considerate to have a woman reporter who has actually played the men’s sport that they cover….

  24. I don’t think they should have disallowed her on the sidelines. The excuse of “for her protection” is dumb.

    If she wants to risk getting plowed over by a WR and a CB running out of bounds and hitting her head on ice, so be it…that’s the risk she wants to take, let her.

    Equal rights, right?

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