A “Lil Positivity”: ESPN’s Jemele Hill Talks Exclusively To Bossip About Being A Black Female Sports Writer, Growing Up In Detroit, And Whether Or Not She Would Date A Pro Athlete

Bossip: Obviously there are a lot factors that go into that, do you think it because there just is not an interest there? Is it because there are so many obstacles people decided otherwise? What would you attribute it to, if anything?

Jemele: It’s a combination of many factors. One of which is that it’s a non-traditional career. There is also the idea that in this business it’s not easy, it can be very disheartening. When I first came out of college I saw the statistics that the average salary was $19,000 for a journalist right out of college. You look at what people are paying for tuition and they are paying three times that. Only to be rewarded with a $19,000 salary. Also, I think where we are as a people as far as the educational process, a lot of us are just in our second or third generation of coming from families that are educated at the upper level. When you go to college you just don’t have the flexibility to sit there for four years and kind of figure it out. Also just to get that exposure, even among black female athletes, I don’t think many of them think about being an analyst, or doing the media side. Of course they want to exhaust all natural capabilities with their sport but I don’t think many of them are steered into being journalist and they could do that. So it has certainly got to do with a lack of exposure and some of the ridges of the profession. This does not just apply to black women but if you’re a sports writer and you’re a female, that means you do have to table on some level personal relationships with married and having kids. I covered football and basketball for six years and I was on the road, from basically from August until about April. That’s a big chunk of your life and I am in Bristol at least once a month for 4-5 day stretches. So theorically anyone I am dealing with has to be able to accept my lifestyle, that’s tough especially when women have the burden of creating a family.

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