In a story released Friday from the New York Post, Rooks discussed seeking out more women directly with her work, as well as what she’s learned during her quick rise in sports media.
Here’s what Rooks told Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post:
“If I’m walking somewhere, normally a man will see me and I’ll get stopped. If I’m at a sporting event, I’ll get stopped all the time.
“It’s something that I’ve actually been thinking a lot about. I guess it’s just the nature of the business that men are the demographic. But I really, really, really, really want women to be more of a demographic of mine. That’s the group that I care the most about.
“But when you do sports, I feel like at this point, if you say my name in the sports world, someone would know who I am or they see my work. If you go into like a supermarket, they wouldn’t.”
Rooks has a longform interview show hosted on Bleacher Report platforms for WBD Sports. And over the past two seasons, Rooks has produced feature segments for Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football telecasts.
She has gotten access and honesty from some of the biggest athletes in the country, but she worries it doesn’t resonate with the women who could be watching.
At the same time, she is learning to advocate for herself more and be honest about where she is professionally.
“I genuinely believe this when I say I think women should say that they’re good at things more than they do because men say they’re good at things all the time.
“Sometimes you feel like you have to put a disclaimer on saying like, ‘Oh, no, I’m really good at the job.’ … because you think saying the truth about your work means that you’re being cocky or too into yourself.
“Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler can say ‘I’m the best basketball player in the world and LeBron James can call himself ‘king.’”
It’s true that reporters are expected to be humble. And women especially are expected to quietly appreciate opportunities they are given.
So don’t be surprised if Rooks pops up somewhere unexpected in an effort to broaden her profile for audiences she wants to reach most.
With Amazon bidding for other sports broadcast packages and the media landscape broadening, Rooks’ skill set as a talented interviewer and well-connected voice makes her a perfect candidate to try bigger projects.