‘Sidelined’ is first about one woman’s experience in sports talk radio — and the incredibly misogynistic climate that exists in. But it’s also a book about the history of sports reporting and sports media — and how that reflects back and magnifies larger societal trends.
We’re going to start with some discussion questions in this thread here as we read the first third of the book. And then we’ll have another discussion thread as we get closer to finishing. We also have a Zoom Q&A with the author for paying subscribers later in November.
Here are some questions I’ve been circling around as I read. Let me know what you think:
Do you consider triathlon (and other endurance sports) to be a part of the larger sports media landscape discussed in the book (ie. in the same context as basketball, football, hockey, baseball), or do you think of them as a separate and different thing? Why and how? Do you think the problems talked about in other sports are also present, and to what degree, in triathlon?
Are sports simply another form of entertainment? Do athletes have an obligation to also entertain? Does the media that covers them?
Did you grow up loving “sports” - why?
Locker rooms: A huge amount of the early history of women reporting in the traditionally male space that is the sports world (and the first part of the book) revolves around locker rooms and locker room access in order to do the job. Reporting evolved out of getting interviews in the locker room while athletes changed because that was how those spaces always existed, but triathlon (and running) have never really had that element. (Cycling does a little bit.) Should everyone get access to locker rooms or no one? Do we need that raw immediate emotion or not, how does it impact telling athletes’ stories v. giving them space? Which version of doing things is better?