TORONTO — In an NBA first, an all-female broadcast team provided the analysis and play-by-play coverage of a men’s game between the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets.
Five women – Amy Audibert, Meghan McPeak, Kia Nurse, Kayla Grey and Kate Beirness – were courtside and in the studio to give analysis of the regular season game in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday night. Audibert, who provided analysis from the studio, hopes to inspire a younger generation.
“It’s just the opportunity to maybe inspire, and I keep saying, ignite some dreams and have some young women out there because they can look up tonight and see something that is different and new,” she told CTV’s Your Morning before the game on Wednesday.
McPeak, who handled the play-by-play coverage, said that she wants to show young boys and girls that women of colour do belong on the teams covering sports in Canada.
“When you look at the three roles that are primarily on camera in a traditional broadcast with the play-by-play, the analysis and sideline reporter, they’ll all be held by women of colour,” she told CTV News Channel on Wednesday before the game. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity but the importance of the next generation, it’s not lost on me and that’s why I wanted to make sure that I was part of this.”
McPeak said she’s been preparing for this moment her whole life, so she was not feeling nervous.
“When I woke up this morning, I was waking up to do my job,” she said.
Audibert isn’t letting the pressure get to her either.
“I have to treat it like any other game, you know, my prep is still the same.”
McPeak says she wants to pave the way for the next generation, to make it easier for up-and-comers to get air time.
“It’s something that I must do and I think it’s something that we all must do is making sure the next generation doesn’t have the same obstacles or barriers that I may have had or those that came before me,” she said.
And while it’s a historical step in the right direction for the predominantly male-dominated realm of sports coverage, the work doesn’t end there. “Do we need to keep our heads down and keep the work going? Yes, because really, how else are we going to earn the respect and the notoriety that we would love to be measured on the same standard,” said Audibert.