Where Do Women Fit In The Fantasy Football Community?
When I first started to write this post, months ago, I was a little salty. I had just experienced some less-than-stellar exchanges within the Fantasy Football community. There had also been a rash of bullying and sexist behaviors being brought to light around this same time. Being a woman in this community can be difficult, really in any male-dominated community. It’s already difficult enough to be a woman with an opinion in general. Imagine what it’s like, for a moment, to be a woman with an opinion on sports.
There are plenty of people who feel that women don’t know enough about sports to have an opinion on them. They were raised that way. Sports are for boys and dolls are for girls, but there are plenty of girls who weren’t raised on dolls. We were raised playing catch in the yard with our dad, learning how to change a tire, drinking out of the garden hose while running around like feral cats in the neighborhood on a summer night. Even if we were raised with dolls, dresses, and makeup - that doesn’t mean we can’t have an opinion on football.
I’ve been playing fantasy football for over a decade now. Am I an analyst? No. I’m not. I rely on other, more involved writers and professionals for that data. We all have our place.
Once I had this realization, I wasn’t so salty anymore. I found that it was a really small number of insignificant, narrow-minded voices who were trying to drown out what is a great group of people overall. The more people like this that I encountered, the louder and more productive I’ve wanted to be.
I identify as a lifestyle contributor. I don’t write analyst content, although I might share my thoughts on a pick now and then. I write fun, fluffy pieces that bring a smile to your face or a review on an app or tool that you might find helpful for The Commish Brand. There’s room for that. So move over.
As a community, we all bring so much to the table. We’re comedians. We’re analysts. We’re podcasters. We’re video personalities. We’re writers. We’re content creators. We’re casual fans. Some of us make a living by being a part of this amazing space. I could go on and on.
I’ve taken some time to talk about this topic with a number of friends within the Fantasy Football community. A few of them have agreed to share a bit about their experiences and how they identify as a member within this crazy space. Read the stories of these very talented women and where to find their content:
“I love football. I hate cooking. I have no issues deciding what I want for dinner. I drive pretty well (pls don’t fact check). If there’s one thing I am great at, it’s being bad at sticking to stereotypes. It sounds generic, but just be true to yourself. Don’t let the lure of trends or retweets mold you into something you aren’t. If you want to dive deep into numbers, do it. If you want to mock numbers, do it. If you want to trash talk, do it. Most importantly, surround yourself with people you trust and enjoy. If it wasn’t for the girls in this industry, I would be lost...and really bored.” PetitePods WenisTogether charity league
“I just want to start by saying that when we publicly talk about the pushback we receive from men, we don’t mean the men that accept, respect, and encourage us as women in this industry. If you feel compelled to tell me how supportive you are - you probably aren’t being very supportive. That being said, finding your voice in this space can be daunting. Find and build friendships with other women, support each other, lend a hand or an ear to each other. Be confident - you will get called a b*tch, you’ll get told to drop your attitude - don’t. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do whatever this is. Study numbers, watch film, read horoscopes, BE YOU - and the rest will fall into place.”
“What Lind said rings so true: there is no perfect formula to being a woman in the fantasy football space. You must have thick skin and remember to never take anything personally. Harness what you are good at, whether that be film, analytics, podcasting, articles, or networking. Build real relationships, find the people you connect most with and be genuine and kind in the process. Worry about yourself and your progress only, as comparisons to others can be detrimental to your mental health. Be sure to lift others up and celebrate their successes - especially when you see a woman getting the credit she deserves. You and only you get to decide who and what you give your energy to, whether that is in your work, your podcasts, or some troll saying that women don’t know football. Stay confident and pay them no mind. Most importantly - be yourself. Your truest, most genuine self. Because this is MUCH more fun that way. To quote Liz Loza: “Wake up. Kick ass. Be kind.”
And catch all of three of these amazing women @sundaysareforus.
Being on Twitter for 12 years (@KellyInPhoenix), has allowed me to grow a pretty large presence among marketers and content creators. But it’s women like these who have allowed my own small growth within the Fantasy Football community to take shape. And not only women like these, but I’ve also found that the majority of the men within the space are very supportive and want to see us thrive. I wouldn’t even have a platform to write this on if the boys at The Commish Brand hadn't given me a shot! (thanks, guys <3)
So thank you ladies and gentlemen for supporting content creators of all types (analyst and not). Thank you for supporting fans both casual and “professional”. Thank you for making this a more welcoming and enjoyable space for everyone. Let the season begin! xo