When Lesley Visser took over the color commentator duties in the fourth quarter of a preseason National Football League (NFL) game between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints, the longtime female sports announcer made history. No woman had ever been given the color announcing job before in an NFL game, making Visser's November 3, 2009, appearance special.

Although Visser's achievement was lauded among women's groups, female sports announcers face multiple obstacles in earning opportunities and respect in sports broadcasting, especially in mainstream men's sports coverage of football, basketball, and baseball.

Stereotypes Permeate Decision Making

Women are largely denied the opportunity to work in the broadcast booth for men's sports, where announcers give play-by-play commentary and “color” analysis. They also face cultural stereotypes that position them as lacking ...

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