Quotation by Gayle Gardner

It was so hard to pry this door open, and if I mess up I know the people behind me are going to have it that much harder. Because then there's living proof. They can sit around and say, "See? It doesn't work." I don't want to be their living proof.
Gayle Gardner, U.S. sports reporter. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 87 (June 17, 1991).

Describing the tendency of people to judge women sportscasters like her more harshly than their male counterparts. She called this "the black quarterback syndrome" because for a long time, it had been assumed that African Americans lacked the leadership qualities or the mental agility to be successful quarterbacks. As the color bar to quarterbacking broke down and a number of skilled African American quarterbacks emerged, this was proven false. Gardner was the first female sports anchor to appear weekly on a major television network.
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