OPINION: Follow the golden rule: sports edition

OPINION%3A+Follow+the+golden+rule%3A+sports+edition

At events, I’ve been told, “this is a table only for media personnel,” or “this is the entrance only for the media so you can’t take your backpack in.” I told them I am the media, “Oh, I thought you were a mom.” I’ve heard, “slow down, let’s not get in a tizzy.” I wanted to say, “Be quiet, you aren’t allowing me to do my job.”

These are just a few situations that have happened to me as a young woman working in sports media. I understand that I am young, and I do not look like I know much about sports writing due to my appearance.

I am not only a woman, but I do not look athletic or skinny due to medications and symptoms from a chronic illness — and the stress from the college lifestyle.

I get that I do not exactly look the part. Still, for the men out there and for others out there, please do not assume I am not a working member of the media just because I look like an unathletic young woman.

Please do not assume I’m a mom trying to get close up photos of players, or that I am a dumb fan who thinks they get special privileges.

Do not look at the media pass I show you to get into a game and tell me it is fake or that I am just trying to push my way into the game to get in free.

These are more snippets of situations that have happened to me. Also, do not mansplain sports concepts to me. Do not talk down to me or act like I do not know what I am doing.

Do you know how we solve this problem? The lesson we simply learned as kids in elementary school — to not judge a book by it’s cover. I have seen men or drop dead gorgeous women with cameras being treated with kindness and respect as they walk in to cover a game. So when you see me as a member of the media please treat me the same way you would treat other people of the media.

I know I am still a college student with a lot to learn in the career field. However, know that I do have an idea of what I am doing. I’ve worked and interned for two professional media outlets and have done four years in student journalism.

On a personal level of loving sports, I can not count on two hands the amount of soccer games I have watched my sister play from when she was a kid to the end of her college soccer career, or the amount of instruction I have received from well respected coaches as a former player. I can tell you that there has not been a day in my family’s household that sports have not been talked about.

Each member in my family besides me are former college athletes. I have grown up around the environment and knowledge of college football because my dad was a wide receiver and defensive back in college. My mother is a former college volleyball player.

This is all to prove that I have been in the sports world for a while so as I said when you mansplain something to me — I will correct you.

Not everyone has treated me like this while I have been working. I have also had many co-workers, bosses and fans treat me with kindness and respect. However, I have also faced a lot of discrimination and talking down to. You should treat everyone with kindness and respect regardless of gender, race, religion or disability. This is a concept that should be the basis of how you treat everyone at work or in the world in general. I do not want pity, I just want to be treated the same as others.