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PHOTOS: 9 All-Star Female Sports Reporters "It didn't occur to me that I wasn't going to be allowed to that party," says ESPN's Hannah Storm, whose father was a commissioner of the American Basketball Association and GM of multiple teams including the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.
"When it wasn't a school night, we were at the games." But Storm and her fellow trailblazers -- in 1994, NBC executives made her the first woman to solo anchor a network sports show when they put her on MLB coverage, which would include three World Series -- succeeded not because they aspired to be on TV, but because they loved the game. "I was covering the lowest division of high school football and thought I was the luckiest person in America." When Mary Carillo -- who won the 1977 French Open mixed doubles championship with her playing partner John Mc Enroe -- segued from the court to the broadcasting booth in 1980, the United States Tennis Association would not allow her to cover men's tennis, only the women's matches.
For example: A male colleague of mine once called San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore "Al Gore" on TV.
Everyone laughed; it was treated as what it was -- a slip of the tongue.
But I would love there to be a day when there is no more use of the phrase "the first woman to …" because women have done everything.
PHOTOS: THR's Sports Issue: Exclusive Portraits of Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, Olympian Lindsey Vonn RACHEL NICHOLS Anchor, CNN, Turner Sports An Oakland A's player once sent former writer Susan Fornoff a live rat in a box to describe how he felt about her covering his team.
But that's all manageable, and it fades the longer you're in the business. And the first guy to roll into town was Carolina native Michael Jordan.
It has been nearly 40 years since the first female reporter was allowed into a professional sports locker room.Says Carillo, "That was when I first realized that it might not be easy to be a woman in this profession." And it still isn't.