McPeak Looks To Set A Standard For Female NBA Play-By-Play
Meghan McPeak on Wednesday worked Wizards-Pistons for Monumental Sports Network, joining a "very short list of women to provide play-by-play for an NBA game," according to Candace Buckner of the WASHINGTON POST. The fact that women have "made strides in NBA broadcasting" is "only a recent development." ESPN's Doris Burke last year "became the first full-time female color analyst for national NBA games." Stephanie Ready and Ann Meyers Drysdale in '16 "made history when they provided analysis" for a Hornets broadcast. Also last season, Sarah Kustok (Nets) and Kara Lawson (Wizards) were "hired as game analysts" on their respective RSNs. Still, women "have not been seen in the play-by-play seat." But for this upcoming NBA G League season, McPeak will be a mainstay on the "broadcast team for the Capital City Go-Go." Monumental Sports & Entertainment Dir of Content & Programming Caitlin Mangum "fell for McPeak’s purposeful speech and insight." MS&E GM Zach Leonsis "felt that, out of almost 40 announcers who applied for the position, McPeak stood out." Leonsis: "She was the most dynamic and knowledgeable candidate. It’s as simple as that" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/12).
STILL A WAYS TO GO: THE RINGER's Britni de la Cretaz wrote while women "have broken into the industry through sideline reporting and analyst positions," the play-by-play role has "thus far been most elusive." Pac-12 Networks announcer Kate Scott: "I didn’t even consider it until college, because that’s the first time I heard a woman [Beth Mowins] calling a game. ... That didn't seem like an option." De la Cretaz also noted "many of the people in charge are men, who may be more likely to hire other men." Women "need to have champions in order to succeed in these roles," or as Scott put it, "people willing to take the risk." Hiring a woman to "call a sports broadcast still goes against the industry norms and often requires taking a chance on an unknown." But recently, "albeit slowly, that’s starting to change." Many in the field are "terrified of making a mistake and giving ammunition to critics who say women can’t do the role well; they feel they need to be 10 times better to be considered one-tenth as good." When a man makes a mistake on a broadcast, "it’s just something that happens, he misspoke." When a woman makes a mistake, "it’s often used as proof that she’s in over her head or not good enough for the job" (THERINGER.com, 10/11).