Sunday, July 3, 2022

ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Chiney Ogwumike Talk Representation in Sports News

Malika Andrews and Chiney Ogwumike
ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Chiney Ogwumike

*ESPN’s Malika Andrews and WNBA player turned analyst Chiney Ogwumike are speaking out about representation in professional basketball news. 

“We know that every time we step in front of a camera, we’re not just doing it for ourselves,” explains Ogwumike, 30, who co-hosts the daily ESPN show NBA Today with Andrews, in the March/April 2022 issue of Essence. “We’re doing it for the next generation that looks like us, who grew up not seeing those faces, and now they know they can do this, too.”

As two fearless Black women, Andrews and Ogwumike bring a unique and rarely seen voice to major sports. 

“Representation matters,” Andrews, 27, says. “Diversity of roles for women is just as important as diversity as a whole.”

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Here’s more from Essence: 

Andrews, 27, a native of Oakland, was one of the youngest sideline reporters in ESPN’s history when she was hired in 2018. Her journalistic prowess during the NBA’s 2019–20 Bubble season launched her to the head chair of her own daytime show less than three years into her tenure.

Ogwumike, an All-Star forward for the Los Angeles Sparks, became one of the first professional athletes hired by the network as a full-time employee in 2018. She began her off-court career calling women’s college hoops, sprinkling her H-Town flair into broadcasts around the country. The Nigerian-American also coanchored Africa’s edition of SportsCenter, where she was able to tie her heritage and her passion for sports together.

“Women have been conditioned to think that we have to be competitive with one another because there are not enough opportunities for us,” Ogwumike says. “We won’t accept that notion anymore. We’re reinventing what it means to succeed as women, and that means being collaborative instead of competitive.” 

Andrews adds, “Never forget that you belong,” she adds, “and that you’re needed.”

“There’s going to be a time I’m lucky enough to see my replacement walk through the door,” Andrews says, “and I get to roll out the red carpet for her.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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