Not All Girls Like Pink
33-year-old Massachusetts Native Breaks Societal Norms Daily and Does So with No Fear
By: Gia Bao Nguyen
She started out as a bartender in Boston working two jobs with barely to no sleep. Years later Katie Nolan hosts a show named “Always Late with Katie Nolan” on ESPN2 as well as a weekly ESPN podcast called “Sports? With Katie Nolan.” Before this Nolan went through a dark start. She used to blog about how she hated women. Things have changed, however. Nolan since then has become a American sports television host and a vocal voice when it comes to women in sports in a man-dominated field. As a minority, I have gone through similar situations as Nolan. It relieves me to see people like her who have changed from a past of self-hate to a present of acceptance. At one point in my life, I used to make fun of my race to fit in or cater towards other people. I realized later that I’ve made a mistake and it was only harming myself. I just wanted to be accepted for who I am. She’s taught me to not run away from my problems but to meet them head-on. She’s not afraid to break gender norms and does so in an outspoken and charismatic way.
Breaking gender norms
Nolan graduated with a bachelor’s in public relations at Hofstra University but couldn’t find a PR job for months. She started working at a bar and began a blog. She would talk about how all women are the same and only like pink. She then later got a job at Guyism that is a part of the FOX network. During this time, she began to regret her blogs about women. “I got my job at Guyism by writing a blog about how women suck,” Nolan said. “[I was] just buying into this idea of what a woman is what they defined, and then you perpetuated it by being like, I'm not like them.” She eventually got a job offer from FOX and hosted her show No Filter with Katie Nolan. She was aware of the situation she was in. She knew she was expected to do her job and only let the old white man be vocal. FOX wanted her to do her role, but she wanted to be heard.
Many sports analysts and commentators began to admire Nolan for her bravery and her insight. She went viral with a commentary about Greg Hardy’s accusation of domestic violence. What came next was pure unscripted anger and concern about how Hardy and the media joked about women and domestic violence. Hardy who had just got out of court for domestic violence, had made a misogynistic joke about being motivated to play Tom Brady because his wife and sister was going to watch the game. Nolan, with watery eyes, called Hardy a trash human and told the media who joked around about the situation that enough is enough. She is not afraid to go against the grain even though her opinion might not be a popular one. Nolan received hundreds of hate mail and death threats because of her unpopular takes, but it doesn’t stop her from saying what she believed was right. The NFL’s lack of care for domestic violence for women enraged fans to the point where they would threaten to boycott, however, Nolan believed that wasn’t the right thing to do. She insists we must fight head-on so that sports media start taking women more seriously.
Although she majored in public relations and struggled to find her calling, eventually she had landed her dream job hosting her show. Nolan gained a reputation for being snarky and charismatic but could be serious when it comes down to it. Her personality and traits are something to be admired as she can make any interview feel natural and funny. She’s interviewed with big names in sports such as Alex Rodriguez and media celebrities like Bill Simmons. Nolan has a diverse skill set that many people would envy over.
Following Nolan’s story encourages me to go after the job you want even if you aren’t the preferred race or gender. Gain as many skills as you can and keep working on your dream. Never lose sight of who you are. It would be dream of mine to get a job where I can express myself the way I want to regardless of what is expected of me. I wish to have the fire and guts to do what I want in life like Nolan.
About the Author
I’m a senior at UNT majoring in journalism with a focus on public relations. After many years of soul searching, I have come to realize that what I love doing is creating. I love creating anything from art to stories. In my sophomore year in college, I switched my major to journalism and finally felt whole again. It felt like I finally found what I wanted. I had a sudden drive to learn and create. With a passion for social media and videography, I have both the skill set and professional background necessary to dive deep into the public relations world. As an upbeat, self-motivated team player with excellent communication, I envision an exciting future in the industry.