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.
Usually, when you think of those making “history” you think of older people or those who have even passed away. However, there are certain instances when history is taking place right before our eyes and that’s exactly what Jemele Hill is doing.
Hill is a regular columnist on ESPN.com’s Page 2 and can often be seen on the network’s shows such as First Take and Jim Rome is Burning. Prior to joining ESPN, Hill was a columnist at the Orlando Sentinel. During that time, she was the only black female sports columnist in the nation — and we’re talking some 300-plus newspapers. It is/was that fact only that’s historic.
Often accused of playing the race card, Hill gives readers a unique perspective that generates dialogue, which is one of the main objectives of any columnist. In a white male driven industry, being able to stand her ground and write about issues that would otherwise be avoided sets her apart from writers male or female, black or white.
On the television side, when Hill is one of the few women of color you see on the sports side. I often find in interesting that not many young black females are into sports journalism, especially on the print side. It’s rare, which makes Hill’s accomplishments that much more respectable. Maybe if young girls look at what she’s done, it will change perceptions and stereotypes about the business.