Doris Burke And The Age Of Trailblazing Women In Sports Broadcasting

As the country continues to deal with myriad issues concerning race, government, police and the oppression of minorities, the changing times have not negatively affected women in broadcasting. In fact, the past few years have seen historical breakthroughs for women in sports journalism from the sideline to the commentators booth to network sports television. 

We know about the rise of Jemele Hill, the controversial and talented ESPN star of SC6 and the other women of color such as Sage Steele, Cari Champion and Josina Anderson, who have shattered the male wall of invincibility by becoming respected stars in the male-dominated world of covering pro sports. 

Jessica Mendoza has made  a name for herself as a supreme baseball analyst. Beth Mowins recently became the first female play-by-play announcer for the NFL on CBS in its 58-year history when she called the Cleveland Browns vs Indianapolis Colts matchup with Jay Feely. 

Both are barrier-breakers in careers once exclusively held by men. 

Basketball analyst Doris Burke is a seasoned hoops voice and a pioneering spirit. She was the first woman to serve as an analyst for a New York Knicks game, the first women to serve as an analyst for a Big East basketball game and the first woman to serve as a regular analyst for a networks college basketball package.

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Doris Burke will replace Doug Collins on ESPN NBA telecasts, breaking another barrier for female broadcasters

Now, according to Sports Illustrateds Richard Deitsch, she will become the first woman to serve as a regular analyst for a national NBA package. As reported last week to little fanfare,  ESPN will soon announce Burkes promotion to a regular game analyst role, replacing Doug Collins in the booth, after Collins took a front-office job with the Chicago Bulls. 

Shell still be doing her sideline reporting during the NBA Conference Finals and Finals.

The NBA, and more importantly, the entire sport of basketball, has always been an inclusive environment, Burke said of her promotion.  To me, whether we are talking about the players, coaches, team management or anyone involved with the sport, it is about your game so to speak. Do you have the work habits and skills to be successful? I believe if the players and coaches respect my viewpoint of the game, then fans will as well. And full credit there goes to the NBA and to ESPN. They are willing to put people like me in a position to do this. Its pretty cool to have a greater role and the chance to continue to cover a sport that I love with the best players and coaches in the world.

As the sports landscape changes and women continue to distinguish themselves in traditional male careers, look for other female analysts to appear more frequently on NBA telecasts. 

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