Is it OK for female sports journalists to pose for men's magazines?

This is What YOU Think: Jill Arrington

Earlier this week, presented the fourth installment of This is What I Think, giving WNBA players a chance to weigh in on the issue of female sportscasters posing for men's magazines, and whether it diminished their standings as journalists. We also asked you what you thought about the issue, and received a tremendous amount of feedback. Here are some of your responses:


No surprise; after all, it is TV

Professional credibility? Please! How much credibility does it take to stick a microphone in someone's face and ask "How do you feel?" ... Let's face it, television is a visual medium, and the on-air personalities are hired as much or more for their physical appeal as their journalistic abilities. And this isn't a female-exploitation issue; why do you think so many male ex-jocks get hired by networks and ushered right on the air without paying any journalistic dues? Because they're so articulate? TV wants good-looking people of both genders on the air. So Ms. Arrington modeling for a photo layout in one of the current crop of magazines that trade in (scantily)-clad "celebrities" really isn't anything about which to get excited.

--Van (Orange, Calif.)

Tamika Catchings is against female sportscasters or athletes posing for men's magazines.
Ron Hoskins/WNBAE/Getty Images
Respect yourself

I completely agree with Tamika Catchings' answer. I wouldn't do it. And while it is great (as Sheryl Swoopes said) that a woman can be an athlete and still be feminine and sexy, there are ways to do it other than posing for pictures with little to no clothes on. For me, it's all about having respect for yourself.

--Brittany (N.C.)

It's up to the journalist

I think it's up to the journalist. It's her choice. Will she undermine her professional credibility? Not in my mind, but, unfortunately, society is full of judgmental and narrow-minded (people), so in the minds of some others, she probably would lose credibility.

--Rinny (Jersey City, N.J.)

Arrington's an opportunist

There are areas in this country where women are still trying to find acceptance. One of them is in sports media. Posing for a men's magazine when she doesn't have the reputation of an Al Michaels makes Arrington an opportunist. I'd like to see her make the "A-list" of sports-media celebrities on her journalistic skills.

--M.J. (State Collge, Pa.)

It all depends on the pose and the publication

I think as long as the pose is artistic in some fashion, her credibility won't be compromised. Of course, if it were a naked, tasteless pose, then I feel that credibility would come into question. I think the minute the pose ends up in Playboy or Penthouse, the degrading factor starts to (come into) play and the woman loses her credibility in, and amongst, her professional peers.

--Chris (Rockville, Md.)

The fact that she covers the NFL makes a difference

Theoretically, a woman posing for a men's magazine shouldn't affect her professional life because it is her personal matter. However, considering she is a highly successful woman (who covers) the NFL -- the majority of whose workforce and fans are male -- I would have wanted Jill Arrington to stay a role model. Her posing might be (seen as) degrading towards women. At the same time, I understand Sheryl Swoopes' point �- women also want to celebrate their own beauty. Probably what we need is a place where women can present their beauty in a more respectful way, such as a publication owned by and mostly targeted for women.

--Yusuke (New York, N.Y.)

Sideline reporting is fluff anyway

I think it's more a question of the reporter. If someone respected like Robin Roberts did it, she would lose credibitily. But I don't think Arrington had much credibility to begin with. Interviewing athletes during a game isn't very journalistic, and the athletes never give anything but cliches anyway. The people doing the broadcast know this. It's fluff between plays. So I never considered her -- or any man who does the same job -- as a serious journalist, and therefore there was no respect in that area to be lost.

--Paul (San Gabriel, Calif.)

You can't please everyone, so do your own thing

What does posing for a picture in a magazine have to do with one's ability as a sports journalist? Absolutely nothing. This woman's skills in her chosen profession would be no more diminished than that of ball players or actresses who wanted to do the same thing. People should be more responsive to what makes them happy rather than what might (make somebody else angry). "Everyone" will never be content, so just do your own thing.

--George (Flint, Mich.)