Trenni Kusnierek On The Celtics’ Winning Streak And Sexism In Sports Media – WBUR
On how Gordon Hayward’s injury affected Kyrie Irving
Trenni Kusnierek: Let’s remember, this is a guy who was traded for, and practiced with, Gordon Hayward and thought that they were gonna be a pair. And I wonder if the injury affected [Kyrie] more than anybody else because, while I know he wants to be the guy, he wasn’t that great at being the guy in Cleveland before LeBron was there. He seems to be a fairly self-aware, almost a little bit of a sensitive person, and I wonder if, in the back of his mind, he was saying, “Oh great. I gotta do it all now.” [Maybe] it just took him a little while to figure out, “Listen, I don’t have to do everything. I can rely on other people. And, I don’t need to prove to everyone that I need to be scoring 30-40 points per game.” I think that’s human nature.
On how the behavior towards women in sports media has improved since she first started working
Trenni Kusnierek: I think people now are more aware of what [women] have to deal with. For me to say that it hasn’t progressed—I’d be lying to you. It has progressed. When I was 18 or 19 years old and I was interning, guys would come up to [me] and drop towels in locker rooms and stand naked. They would try to intimidate [me] and try to make [me] feel uncomfortable. That does not happen anymore
On how sexism in sports and sports media is still prevalent today
Trenni Kusnierek: I think what [women] still face is the mansplaining and the thinking we can’t handle ourselves. And this question of do we belong and how did we get where we are. People still ask me, “Did you like sports growing up?” Of course I liked sports! If I didn’t like sports, why would I be in sports? There is still this thought of, “Oh…you’re doing this to find a husband, right?” or, “You wanna go in and check out guys in the locker room.” That, to me, is still the most pervasive thing. Or, it’s that you can’t hold your own [as a woman]. There’s a lot of men that feel they have to be a protector for you: “I don’t like what that person said to you” or “Are you okay after this happened?” Yeah! Yeah, I can handle it. If I couldn’t handle it, I wouldn’t be in this industry.
On how sports media outlets objectify women and perpetuate a casual form of sexism
Trenni Kusnierek: I consider myself a feminist and I know that this sort of waffles between being a feminist [and not]. How you dress shouldn’t represent who you are. But, at the same time, Fox Sports—and I’m just going to say Fox because Fox is one of the networks that does this the most—really over-sexualizes a lot of their on-air female talent. People say, “Who cares how a woman dresses? This is an industry that’s entertainment.” And I get it! If I was 30, 40 pounds heavier and…had a hideous disfigurement on my face I wouldn’t be on television. I know that…But, I also feel like, this is still a job. I am not here for you to look at my outfit or talk about my shoes or talk about my dress. You should be listening to what I’m saying.