The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, February 19, 2021

Stepping into the light, alone — Blake Bolden interview — Must-click women's hockey links

(Hi! Howard Megdal here. The IX helps build the necessary infrastructure for women’s sports media. By connecting these worlds, it gives women’s sports the networking boost men’s sports can take for granted.

Continue reading with a subscription to The IX

Get unlimited access to our exclusive coverage of a varitety of women’s sports, including our premium newsletter by subscribing today!

Join today

Those of you who are our satisfied subscribers, tell the world! We are grateful for your support. And you can share the gift of The IX with those who would love us as much as you do.

And here’s a FLASH SALE for those of you on the free list: 50% off for a year! Join us, get access to our subscriber-only events. Let’s build the infrastructure of women’s sports media together!

Stepping into the light, alone

Hello hockey fans and friends:

This week has been an emotional one for many reasons. In my personal life, I said goodbye to my last living grandparent. My grandmother, mi abuela. She lived to 92 and got to meet her first great grandchild, she lived a good life.

The hard part right now has not been her death, it has been dealing with the machismo in my family. Like many Caribbean families, all things run through the men, despite the education, ability, or proximity of the women to any given person or situation.

No matter how present, how able, and how dedicated women are, there are still some that only define us, that can only compare our greatness in the shadow of men.

The same is true for Black, Indigenous, and other women of color across the world and certainly in sports. We designate specific months to acknowledge the grit of contributors often without full context. Our struggle is present because of a bad roll of the dice, our struggle was created. Our accomplishments intentionally absent from the history white men choose to tell.

So, when the PWHPA plays on NBC Sports next month with an all-woman broadcast team, it isn’t because post college women’s hockey all of a sudden is “good enough” to be broadcasted.

No. The truth is that the gatekeepers finally turned the key.

Women have always been in hockey. Black communities have always been in hockey. Yet there will likely be no Black women on the NBC broadcast. There will likely be one Black player (Sarah Nurse) and maybe a 2-3 of Indigenous players (Abby Roque, Brigette Lacquette, or Jocelyn Larocque) competing on the ice.

And when we (Black people, women, Indigenous people, etc.) say some version of “thank you and…” too often we are given some version of “Well, I have Black friends.”

Women of color are always told to wait, that more space for women’s sports will eventually yield more for them too.


There is no need to wait, we’re already here. And there is certainly no need to be polite. The only steps needed for more equity is for producers, editors, and other decision makers to see us, step away from the mic, and let us tell our story. We are thankful for those who create space, but don’t be fooled into thinking an all-white staff with a sprinkle of BIPOC voices is enough.

Think of it this way. If you are white and male, have you ever had more BIWOC superiors than white male superiors? As you have risen up the ladder, how many BIWOC women have come along with you? How many are there now?

Do I as a Black Latina have ideas about how to fix this? You’re damn right and I write about them every week, not just on the designated day the colonizer calendar has set aside for me to be proud of who I am.

This week reminded me that I can continue to do this until I’m 92 and my own kin will still measure me through the eyes of a man. A man will still think he can take credit for my success without acknowledging the interdependence of the relationship.

Should I live to see as many years as my grandmother, I hope the need for hyper-masculinity in our society has faded and I can rest in peace knowing that my life and my work are properly attributed.

I hope.

The Next, a 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom

Introducing The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.

Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.

This Week in Women’s Hockey

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MORE COVERAGE FOR WOMEN IN SPORTS? Good, click these links and show decision-makers that if you post it, we will read it! If you have any hot tips for great stories or voices you’d like to see in The IX, email me:

Must-Click Links Written by Women

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX by way of Kwani Lunis

I was away with family for most of the week, but I wanted to share this interview again! I love how comfortable Blake is talking with Kwani Lunis.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By Sarah Kellam @sarahkellam, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Erica L. Ayala