An open letter to Erin Andrews

Dear Erin,

To put it simply, thank you.

Thank you for doing something I’m not sure I ever could have done.

Thank you for standing up for women like me. You have a voice and people hear you. They’ve heard you.

For the last two weeks, I have followed your trial and have been amazed at your strength. I cannot begin to fathom the pain you have experienced and my heart hurts for you.

For a very long time, I told people I wanted to be you. That I wanted your job. I wanted to wake up every Saturday and stand on the sidelines of a college football game, just like you. It wasn’t until I got further into this field of work that I realized with our job comes some scary stuff too.

I’m now a small-market reporter still hoping to catch my big break in the sports world. These last few months I’ve been blessed to get to know a community and they have embraced me as one of their own. Last week, I had something I had never really thought to be alarming happen to me. A man stopped me while I was out with friends and said ‘Hey Katie, I love watching you in the morning.’ I was flattered. Someone knew me and they appreciated my work. But, as the days went on and I continued to follow your trial, I realized just how vulnerable you are. How vulnerable all journalist are. People know us and recognize us. It’s part of what we do. Not because we want to be famous, it’s just so happens to be part of the job. Part of the job I love the most, serving and giving back to a community. Even still, this is a stretch of a comparison. There are millions of people who watch you. Millions who love your work. Millions who saw your video. Millions of strangers who have access to parts of your life that they don’t have with the average person. I just can’t imagine what you’ve gone through.

There seems to be a stigma in the world of sports media, that women, like you, are just there to serve as pretty face. In reality, you and I know, a lot of success can be seen in this business based on looks but as the saying goes, looks only go so far. You, as well as many other female sportscasters, prove everyday that you’re are more than just a face. Thanks to you all, the road for young female journalists likely won’t be so tough. I can’t thank you enough for that.

I’m glad you won. I’m glad you won $55 million dollars, even if you never see that amount. It means those people in that courtroom feel for you. They might have a hint of the pain you and so many women like you, have felt. It means maybe people will finally start to realize women are humans, not objects. I’m glad the hotel that so recklessly aided in this matter, was found 49% responsible. For many reasons I am glad, but mostly because it wasn’t just you who won. We all won. Women everywhere who have ever felt degraded or objectified. Women, like me, who hope to be in your shoes one day. Female reporters and journalist everywhere.

From all of us, thank you.

Your courage to relive such a horrific event over and over again has not gone unnoticed.

I’m sure these last 8 years have been an emotional roller coaster. There is no monetary amount that will ever undo what has been done to you but I hope, through this, you gain some kind of closure.

From aspiring female sports journalists to women everywhere, we applaud you Erin.

Thank you.

Your newest fan,

Katie

 

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