Some of you are wondering what’s the big deal, as these awards are nothing more than lighthearted internet superlatives. Well, the answer is that these are the kinds of things that agents use to get their clients better deals when they’re in negotiations with these networks and publications. This is sports, remember? Stats and accolades matter.

The construction of the list of winners — and their fellow nominees — is easier to understand once you realize that a bunch of white dudes were picked because the sports industry is full of, and ran by, a bunch of white dudes.


According to the 2021 Sports Media Racial and Gender Report Card that The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) puts together for the Associated Press Sports Editors, a large part of the industry gets an F for gender hiring, a B+ for racial hiring, and a C as an overall grade. Every few years TIDES collects research to hold sports media accountable. But, unfortunately, over the years some hiring managers and leaders have delayed or not participated in the gathering of information due to how bad the grades have historically been. They ask to be held accountable, and then run and hide when it’s time.

Check out these report card highlights from the latest study:

The numbers don’t lie, and this is why who was picked in an internet “best of” list was selected. If the overwhelming majority of the people in this industry are of one group, it means that the winners of awards are destined to be, too. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. People of color and women could be hired and selected for these awards at higher rates if white men did the work and got out of their bubbles.


Cross your fingers for better days, but don’t hold your breath. On Friday, The Athletic announced its pick for Sports Media Person of the Year. The site chose another white dude in Pat McAfee — the same guy who allowed Aaron Rodgers to continually spew fake news and anti-vax rhetoric on his radio show. Way to go (white) guys.