Women In Sports: Christina Merrion
This is the time for women to stand out and show out. Women are breaking barriers and showing the world just how powerful we are especially women of color. It's so amazing that women are not only creating their own opportunities but they are being offered great opportunities to do great things. The representation of women of color in different industries right now is growing rapidly especially in sports.
There's one woman that is making her name known in the world of sports journalism. I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Christina Merrion at Valdosta State University. One thing I soon learned was her love for sports, which has grown ever since she was a child.
As she prepares to cover the upcoming football season, I sat down with Christina to talk about her background, love for her job, and where the future is preparing to take her.
Tell us about your educational background and what your current job title is.
I obtained my BS in Exercise Physiology, and my Master's in Exercise Science from Cal University. My current job is a sports writer/photographer covering the NBA, NFL, WNBA, and college sports.
Where did your passion for sports come from?
I played basketball for 11 years, so I've always been around sports. Also, I have always had an interest in photography since about the 5th grade ... funny how life works sometimes.
What would you say is the best part about what you do?
Waking up doing something that I love.
What is the most challenging thing about being a sports journalist?
I would say being a black female in this industry because there aren't very many of us in media.
What I really appreciate about watching you grow in your career is that I see you develop, because your skills have become stronger and doors begin to open up -- would you have ever imagined the opportunities that you've had ever happened to you?
Thank you, but honestly, no. Some people think that it is really easy to get access to these sporting events, but it's actually not, there's a process. Sometimes even going through the process doesn't help for certain events, so I'm just blessed with the opportunities I've had thus far. Also, I'm from a small town, and a job like this doesn't happen to people from small towns very often, so hopefully I'm motivation to some people.
Women in sports is a growing trend. What is it that you feel women contribute to one another in the field of work?
Empowerment! Women in sports defy the misperception that sometimes we are weak or incapable.
What advice would you give to the next woman who's trying to break into sports journalism?
As a woman, don't be afraid to use your voice and tear down any gender barriers. For instance, Becky Hammon was the first female assistant coach in the NBA. So don't be afraid to break barriers, not just in sports journalism, but sports period!
What are you hoping for in the future?
I hope to make it to a national outlet in the future, but my main focus is to better my craft year in, and year out.
Photos are courtesy of Christina Merrion's photography business, Chris Cross Photography.