In honor of Black History Month, we’ll set aside space to honor some of the pioneers who paved the way for minorities in sports media. Obviously, we can’t get to everyone, so if we leave someone out, please understand.
Pictured above is Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. Everyday, Roberts, along with Diane Sawyers and others, comes into the homes of America and get us started on our days. Years ago, it would have been unimaginable for a woman, much less a black woman to do that.
A native off Mississippi, Roberts turned down a basketball scholarship at LSU in favor of attending the smaller Southeastern Louisiana University. After a few stints at television stations around the south, Roberts was hired in 1990 by ESPN, making her the first black female sports at the network, thus opening doors for future ESPN black female on-air talent such as Sage Steele, Lisa Salters and Danyelle Sargeant.
She joined Good Morning America in 1995 and worked simultaneously with ESPN and ABC before being promoted to co-anchor of GMA full-time in 2005.
Althought she made it to “the top” all the way from the Gulf Coast, Roberts has never forgotten where she came from. This was evident during her coverage of Hurricane Katrina in which the storm destroyed parts of her hometown including her high school.
Along with Sawyers, Roberts has become one of the faces of morning television. That face was illuminated even more when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last. She went from being a role model and pioneer in the sports journalist world to a role model for women with breast cancer.
Anyone young black female aspiring to be a sports broadcaster/anchor should look no further than Roberts. She has set the standard winning 3 Emmys and continues to make strides in the field.