Black women have never had a stronger presence in sports media than right now, with Maria Taylor, Malika Andrews, Taylor Rooks, Joy Taylor and Ashley Nicole Moss amongst those contributing to that movement. Still, SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan feels Black men and women remain woefully underrepresented elsewhere in broadcasting, particularly behind the camera.
“What I would love to see in the future, is not just Black men and women on camera, but more behind the camera. There’s not a lot of us in control rooms, directing, producing or even in PR,” Duncan told DeAnna Taylor in a recent Ebony profile. “The next wave is really cultivating a crop of new talent off-air, so we are represented truly in every single space. That’s where the real bosses are.”
It’s an astute observation, and probably one that isn’t getting enough attention amid a chaotic television landscape. After decades of fighting for a seat at the table, Black journalists have never been more prominent in sports media. But that’s not the case behind the scenes, where minority voices remain in relatively short supply.
Duncan didn’t offer an obvious solution or explore in any great detail why that might be the case, though it’s clearly a blind spot that needs to be addressed. While ESPN and other networks have come a long way, prioritizing diversity and inclusiveness in their hiring practices, there’s still room for growth with a frustrating lack of opportunities for Black production staffers.