I honestly do not know how or when I first met Alison Moran. I assume our paths crossed many times at various sports events, but the first extended exchange I remember was at a Chicago Sky Media day a few years back. Our paths cross a lot more since I have started covering a lot of female sports teams.
A veteran on the Chicago media scene, Alison does wonderful work with Token Female. On the Token Female site, Alison proudly exclaims, "I'm here to inform and take your suggestions regarding the role of women in sports and life. Title IX allowed me to fulfill my dreams. I want the same accessibility for all people. In community, there is strength!"
Alison's work is important, especially in a world where women in sports and women's sports are so undercovered and underappreciated. Legitimate female writers and reports are also too rare, but women like Alison are changing that, too. There is still a long way to go, but things are changing.
Things would change even more if more men and more big time media outlets started giving real coverage and support to women's sports. The WNBA has decent coverage, while other women's sports get covered to a lesser degree. Unfortunately, sports like the National Pro Fastpitch get minimal, if any, coverage.
I applaud Alison's efforts. Big change takes a while and takes many small changes. Alison's work will make it easier for the next generation of women covering sports. Hopefully, Alison's work will also spur other media outlets to give a little more coverage to women's sports.
Alison is not exclusive to women's sports, though. She is a sports fan across the board. A proud Chicago sports fan, Alison was happy to meet (then) new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts several years ago. I wonder if she urged him to add some women to his baseball operations staff? Knowing Alison, I am sure she did.
Follow Alison on her Token Female page on Facebook. If you see an energetic redhead with media badge at a sporting event, it is probably Alison and she is probably sniffing out a story!
Tom Ricketts and Alison Moran in Chicago, IL-January 2014.