TFG Podcast: Laura Okmin empowers aspiring female NFL journalists
From the The Football Girl Podcast, hosted by Melissa Jacobs. Please subscribe in iTunes to get new episodes of thepod in your feed the second we publish. If you like what you hear, please rate and/or review us!
This week we proudly welcome acclaimed NFL broadcaster Laura Okmin of Fox Sports and Westwood One Radio. Okmin covered the Saints-Vikings “Minneapolis Miracle” and we begin with her account of the postgame scene. She also reflects on her career that has spanned two+ decades and includes over a decade entrenched in to NFL. She talks about the stark difference between navigating relationships when she was 20 vs. 40.
In her spare time, Okmin fosters the next generation of aspiring NFL journalists through her GALvanize bootcamps. She aims to ensure that young women entering the football world have what she did not: other females around to lean on for support. Okmin discusses the benefits and perils for young women entering the NFL in the current climate. She also discusses a major transformation in her personal life that has dramatically changed her outlook.
Also in this episode, Melissa describes the genesis of a couple of tweets that went viral last weekend and makes (correct!) picks for the conference championship round.
2:22: Melissa’s EXTRA crazy couple of days on Twitter
9:49: Laura describes being on the field for the electric Saints-Vikings divisional game
13:10: Laura on the NFL’s ratings issues
15:55: Laura on taking control of her life
25:21: Laura on dating with confidence
30:15: Laura on embracing the human interest side of the NFL
32:48: Laura explains the impetus behind GALvanize
36:08: Laura fosters a group of young broadcasters supporting each other
41:14: Laura on female broadcasters having to navigate inappropriate behavior from men
49:19: Laura on cultivating positive relationships with coaches and team executives
59:11: Laura on how it can better for women in the league
1:03:11: Melissa makes her picks for the AFC and NFC Championships
Laura on one of her key motivations for starting GALvanize:
“I wanted to give this generation something I didn’t have and I don’t know if you had it or not. I didn’t have women. I didn’t have mentors. I didn’t have a network of my peers. There was no support, and I think what I did as a young woman, most of us in sports as guys’ girls. We’re ok with that and always wore that as a badge ‘No I don’t have a lot of girl friends, I’m always hanging out with the guys, I’m always traveling with the guys, and I knew that was part of my identity. And there really reached a point where I could have used some women.”
Laura on her mother’s influence:
“I was raised very much by a mom who said, ‘You go get your career, your money.’ The boys will wait. The babies will wait. You go and make your own life.”