The Football Girl Podcast: #MeToo Finally Hits the Sports World

From the The Football Girl Podcast, hosted by Melissa Jacobs. Please subscribe in iTunes to get each episode in your feed the second we press publish!

We’ve made it three episodes and our latest may be the most important one yet. Earlier this week, a former NFL Network wardrobe stylist filed a disturbing and detailed complaint alleging sexual harassment and misconduct from several employees. Most are former players.

Will this complaint be an anomaly, or are the floodgates in sports about to open? Melissa talks well-known journalist Julie DiCaro who covers the intersection of sports and feminism, and also serves as a host at 670 The Score in Chicago.

WARNING: This conversation is raw and deeply delves into the seedy and often lonely world of women working in sports. As Julie bluntly says, “Imagine if you go to work for an insurance company or an accounting firm or whatever you do and you have to dodge penises while you’re there.” Also included is how the hero worship culture affects women, the lack of women in leadership roles, the expectation of so many women in sports to be flawless, and much more.

Also on the episode, Melissa previews what is shaping up to be the best NFL week to date this season, and has a musing on Antonio Brown, MVP candidate.

The Rundown:

1:59: Melissa Jacobs on why Week 15 should be the most exciting NFL week to date

6:02: Jacobs explains the details of the NFL Network sexual harassment suit

9:15: Julie DiCaro explains the hyper-sexualized world of sports and sports media

12:40: DiCaro on whether or not #MeToo will truly make an impact in the sports world

17:40: DiCaro on whether the men in sports media will start to embrace diversity

18:59: Jacobs on the damaging hero worship culture of sports

27:27: DiCaro on how to deter future harassment

29:49: Jacobs/DiCaro on the men we most need to have our backs

32:40: Jacobs/DiCaro on expectations of attractive women in sports

37:15: DiCaro on how some men guilty of harassment can redeem themselves

40:30: Why Antonio Brown deserves to be NFL MVP


Keep the convo going:

Follow Julie DiCaro on Twitter

Follow Melissa Jacobs on Twitter


Notable Quotes:

DiCaro on the scarcity of women in sports: “We don’t have the safety in numbers that women do in other industries so if you look at journalism at least there are a couple of other women in your office. Most journalism newsrooms are like 40-60 but you’ve got other allies there. For women in sports you can be part of 1-2-3 women in the entire company. So who do you go to? Certainly there are no women up the ladder in the chain of command as far as being there to protect women.”

DiCaro on the risk of coming forward: “I see guys that say ‘but it’s illegal to fire someone for that.’ Yeah, that don’t say they’re firing you for that, dumbass. They say they’re firing you for another reason. Look at Jami Cantor [ex-NFL Network]. They said she was stealing stuff and that’s why we fired her. There’s always another reason. Even though the law if there to protect you, it doesn’t work that way. This is a small business, everyone knows everyone else and if you get a reputation for being difficult or making waves who knows what happens to your career”

DiCaro on life for some women in sports: This is your workplace. Imagine if you go to work for an insurance company or an accounting firm or whatever you do and you have to dodge penises while you’re there. That’s what it’s like for some women. It’s appalling that we’re still even talking about this.

DiCaro on the path to redemption: “It’s not only taking your medicine and doing better. I think you have to come out and talk about what you did and why it’s not ok. You need to do something more proactive than just sit there and not harass people.”