First Take, the hot take ESPN program usually dedicated to a screaming match between Stephen A. Smith and the now-departed Skip Bayless, decided to try something different on Wednesday.
The show opted to featured an all-female panel featuring Sarah Spain, Jen Lada, Kate Fagan, Jane McManus, and guest Annie Apple. While you’d hope that viewers would appreciate ESPN being more inclusive in terms of hosts for the show by selecting four more than qualified women, certain dudes on the internet unfortunately couldn’t believe what was unfolding on their television.
There were calls to bring back Skip Bayless.
— Jordan Jacobs (@jordan_jacobs19) June 29, 2016
There was the always original and clever “they belong in the kitchen” comment.
@FirstTake worst panel ever they belong in the kitchen.
— andres rios (@bytrios) June 29, 2016
It was compared to The View because it’s an all-female panel (funny how all-male talk shows aren’t compared to one another).
— THE BACHELOR (@kingdaved) June 29, 2016
There was, as expected, the expected comment about women not knowing anything about sports.
— Saad (@Homicidalswag) June 29, 2016
There was the guy who said it was awful without even watching it.
— moe john (@MauriceBoyd4) June 29, 2016
There were complaints about “girl talk” (but it’s cool when Stephen A. tells Steph Curry’s wife how to act).
And there were so many more complaints, centered around the terrifying fact that women are talking about sports on First Take.
A sampling of the responses to an all female panel on First Take: pic.twitter.com/pf2ZqUdl1h
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) June 29, 2016
It’s a shame that Wednesday’s hosts were crucified before they even spoke a single word. An all-female hosting team shouldn’t offend anyone (because really, why does it matter if women are the ones providing the hot takes as opposed to men?), but like debate, it should be embraced.
Thankfully, some fellow media members shared their support for the new crew.
All female panel on @FirstTake ! More of that please.
— Larry Wilmore (@larrywilmore) June 29, 2016
— Tim Cowlishaw (@TimCowlishaw) June 29, 2016
If you're mad at First Take NOW… you are soooooo doing it wrong.
— Doug Farrar (@BR_DougFarrar) June 29, 2016
I don't watch First Take, but the people bashing the all female panel are disgraceful. I'd be more likely to watch this version, not less.
— Casey Stern (@CaseyStern) June 29, 2016
It’s 2016, so the fact people respond like this (still) is disappointing. Ultimately, the women did a fine job on the panel, making a show that is highly unwatchable into an excellent roundtable discussion. Also, no athletes were threatened by any of the panelists, which is definitely an improvement over Stephen A. Smith.
If ESPN is smart, they’ll ignore the sensitive Twitter users and roll out the panel for future episodes.