Even before revelations that the reporter Erin Andrews was secretly videotaped naked by a stalker in a hotel room in , female sportscasters understood how frightening obsessed fans can be. Andrea Kremer recalled that in , while she was working for NFL Films, she was in a hotel room when a man called late at night as she was falling asleep.
Can you trace it? Then he called back — it was so chilling and terrifying. I was shaking. My heart was beating fast. After another call to the front desk, she said, the hotel stationed a security guard outside her door. We would have slept on the floor. Female sportscasters have unparalleled reach in an age of round-the-clock sports broadcasting and the widespread dissemination of their work across social media.
There are more of them now than ever, across multiple channels and websites. But the flip side is unwanted attention from a male-dominated audience that can include fans who get uncomfortably close, or even stalkers. Female newscasters and celebrities have long faced harassment and threats — one newscaster said in that she had had to quit her job in St. Louis after repeated threats from a stalker. But some sportscasters work in highly visible and potentially vulnerable places like stadiums and arenas, where they are close to passionate fans, many of them men.
The sportscasters routinely take precautions like asking hotel clerks not to say their name loudly when checking in, refusing to step into elevators if they see glaring male eyes, and opting for private transportation late at night, to avoid the flock of people who often gather outside studios, innocently or not. Some check to make sure the eyehole on their hotel door has not been tampered with, as it was in the case of Ms. Several female sportscasters described their concerns in an article published by Sports Illustrated this week.
In one of the most disturbing episodes faced by a female sportscaster, a man used a hacksaw to alter the peepholes of Ms. Jurors on Monday found the man, Michael David Barrett, and the companies that manage the Nashville Marriott responsible for invading Ms. Andrews had made her wonder about taking more than minor precautions, like closing the blinds in hotel rooms. But less egregious encounters can also leave female sportscasters unsettled and almost always on guard.
You have to be so aware because unfortunately that one time out of 10,, something can happen. Alyssa Roenigk, a reporter for ESPN the Magazine who also appears on the air, primarily covering action sports like the X Games, said she had rarely given her security much thought. For years, she usually walked from venues to her hotel, even late at night. But as she began to do more television and was recognized more often, she was told by her bosses to start taking the courtesy car provided by the network. Roenigk said. And they were kind of watching what floor I was going to, so I pressed the wrong floor.
So I go to the wrong floor, get off the elevator, wait for them to go and get back on. In another instance, she said, she was on an airport shuttle on her way to pick up a rental car when a man approached her. She was still not sure if he was an ardent fan or something else. I went down another escalator, and when I looked over, he was literally standing there staring at me, on his phone.
I tend to be overly nice to people. Laura Okmin, a sideline reporter for N. The man became angry when she did not respond to letters he had sent her and gifts he had dropped off for her. Eventually, police officers escorted her home several times, and security was provided at events that she covered. Later, a man kept calling her at every hotel she checked into. Okmin mentions these experiences at seminars she holds for aspiring female sportscasters through her company, Galvanize.