This past year, Kim Ng became the Miami Marlins' GM, the first female general manager in Major League Baseball. Jennifer King joined the Washington Football Team, becoming the first Black female assistant coach in the NFL. Bianca Smith was hired by the Boston Red Sox, becoming the first Black female on-field coach in MLB. Sarah Thomas worked Super Bowl LV, the first woman to referee a Super Bowl. Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller became the first woman to score in a Power 5 conference football game, kicking two extra points. And Stanford's Tara VanDerveer became the all-time win leader in Division I women's basketball, passing the late Pat Summitt.
Throughout Women's History Month, espnW will present "History in the Making," a collection of stories recognizing the voices, achievements and contributions of these contemporary sports figures and more. "History in the Making" will highlight the notable women and historic moments of the past year across the sports landscape. It also will explore how their voices are raising awareness of racial and social justice causes and amplifying the need for monumental change. And it will speak to the idea that while yes, some obstacles have been overcome, questions remain as to why it has taken so long to dismantle systemic impediments.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, her decades-long love affair with basketball and her fight for equality
By Tara VanDerveer, as told to Elizabeth Merrill
She learned the three-player weave in fourth grade and has been devoted to basketball ever since. As Stanford aims for its third national title, coach Tara VanDerveer reflects on her lifelong love of basketball and her never-ending fight for equality.
• Mechelle Voepel: VanDerveer defined by excellence
• Complete NCAA women's basketball tournament coverage
A Love Letter to Black Women
In honor of Women's History Month, The Undefeated presents its March special, "A Love Letter to Black Women." Now streaming exclusively on ESPN+, the special amplifies and acknowledges the beauty and resilience of Black women in sports who create history every day.
Breonna Taylor and the ongoing fight for more than her name
Breonna Taylor was killed by police on March 13, 2020. Black women have led the fight for recognition, empathy and justice in Taylor's honor. Black women have long been leading social and racial-justice change. So why is it, then, that Black women, like Taylor, are continually and systemically diminished, or erased altogether? As Katie Barnes writes, it's on us to answer that question -- and reverse the trend.
• In our letter series, Black women athletes, including Ibtihaj Muhammad and Natasha Cloud, reflect on how Taylor's killing ignited their quest for change.
• Tierra Ruffin-Pratt doesn't want Black women to be 'the last of the last'
'You're going to listen to what we have to say'
WNBA star Natasha Cloud and Bozoma Saint John, Netflix chief marketing officer, join Around the Rim Presents 'I'm Speaking' with host LaChina Robinson.
How a shark attack and a COVID-19 outbreak led to surfing history
Two decades after the film "Blue Crush," with Hollywood imagining women paddling out in the most revered event in pro surfing, ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk tells the story of how real-life women competed in a Championship Tour event at Pipeline.
ESPN FC Women's Rank: The 50 best players in the world right now
Who are the best players in women's soccer right now? Introducing the FC Women's Rank, an ESPN FC and espnW celebration of the sport's elite. The U.S. women feature heavily in the rank, though there's tough competition all over the globe for top honors.
How world champion Tyler Wright came back from a crippling virus to change surfing forever
A virus left Tyler Wright bedridden for a year. Now, as Alyssa Roenigk writes, the two-time world surfing champion is making history in and out of the water.
Boxing, MMA and her own PPV: Claressa Shields bets big on herself in 2021
Claressa Shields wasn't fighting, wasn't getting the exposure and wanted more for women's boxing. That's when she took matters into her own hands. As Michael Rothstein writes, in an all-women's boxing PPV, Shields defeated Marie-Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to become the first boxer in the four-belt era (since 2004), male or female, to be an undisputed champion in two divisions.
Washington Football Team's Jennifer King makes history as first Black woman to be full-time NFL coach
By Jennifer King, as told to Ericka N. Goodman-Hughey
"... I need to help out the next generation of women coaches. I'll be able to answer the questions they may have, I'll provide guidance. I'll at least try. I want to make that connection with them because they're on deck to go next. Me being here is an example. It's an example of the opportunity they could have one day."
Kim Ng finally -- finally! -- lands general manager job in MLB
As ESPN's Sarah Spain writes, every woman who has worked her way up to the highest levels of a male-dominated business has been overqualified, tough as nails and afraid of nothing save perhaps the fragility of men standing in the way of her success one more time. Things got a little easier for those women when, on Nov. 13, 2020, Kim Ng broke a long-standing glass ceiling.
• David Schoenfield: Marlins GM Kim Ng: Historic hire gives 'glimmer of hope' to many
• Matt Marrone: Getting to know new Marlins general manager Kim Ng
ESPN Cover Story: Azzi Fudd is unbreakable
As Katie Barnes writes, basketball's best prospect in decades couldn't be derailed by a devastating knee injury or a pandemic. The next step in Fudd's ascension: teaming with Paige Bueckers at UConn.
Laughter Permitted here!!
Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy is a fun, thoughtful, candid conversation with trailblazers in sports about the joy/chaos of life and sports. Find more episodes here or at Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
• Legendary softball pitcher and two-time Olympic medalist Cat Osterman talks about how a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics impacted her life and why she decided to come out of retirement for the 2020 Olympics.
With Claire Williams gone, what is next for women in Formula One?
Is Claire Williams a trailblazer? In reality, yes, one of two. In F1's 70-year history, Monisha Kaltenborn -- who was in charge at Sauber between 2010 and 2017 -- is the only other team boss who is a woman. As Niamh Lewis writes, their positions in a historically male-dominant sport proved to the world that women belong there and can lead and succeed.
• ESPN survey: The women who power Formula One
First Bahamian woman caddie on LPGA Tour didn't let MS diagnosis defer her dreams
By Taneka Mackey, as told to Charlotte Gibson
Taneka Mackey is the first Bahamian woman and the only Black woman caddie on the LPGA Tour full time.
The former competitive golfer discusses managing her multiple sclerosis while on tour and being the first but not the last. She wants to represent the Bahamas, inspire the next generation and advocate for more diversity on the golf course.
"Growing up in Nassau, Bahamas, I heard other kids, and even adults joke about how I was playing a white person's sport or a rich person's sport. That wasn't my reality. My parents provided me what I needed to play a sport that I was good at. I shrugged it off and kept playing."
Mariah Stackhouse, the LPGA's only Black full-time player: 'I have the opportunity to inspire'
"I look at athletes that have come before me in other sports and seeing them excel, what that meant to me, even if I don't play that sport," Mariah Stackhouse says. "I think what Serena Williams means to me. Just understanding what it means seeing someone who looks like you playing a professional sport you hadn't considered. It increases the spaces that you consider seeing yourself in. And that's the goal."
Deena Rahman's mission: Smash Guinness World Records and challenge soccer's gender equality problem
As ESPN's Kathleen McNamee writes, Deena Rahman was one of the first women to be paid to play soccer in Europe, with Fulham in 2000, and has played for two national teams (England and Bahrain). She now runs her own academy and is on a mission, alongside those at the nonprofit organization Equal Playing Field, to show girls and women that there's no challenge they can't take on.
How Black gymnasts are being seen and heard, and finding their moment
Five of the top collegiate gymnasts in the country -- Trinity Thomas, Lynnzee Brown, Margzetta Frazier, Kiya Johnson and Nya Reed -- sat down with The Undefeated's Lonnae O'Neal to talk about representation and recognition as Black athletes in a sport that's often been predominantly white.
That's What She Said
Sarah Spain profiles guests from the world of sports, comedy, music and beyond to share the stories of their lives and their journeys to success.
• Yoga teacher, author, and podcaster Kathryn Budig
• Top Chef Kristen Kish
• National Women's Soccer League commissioner Lisa Baird
Norwegian soccer player Ada Hegerberg's fight for equality
Ada Hegerberg's opt-out has been compared to the USWNT's prolonged fight for equal pay. Like so many women before her, there's a fear that asking for more will make her seem ungrateful, disruptive or -- worst of them all -- unlikable. Sarah Spain writes that the moment a woman asks for more is the moment she prioritizes what she needs over the opinion others have of her.
• Watch "My Name is Ada Hegerberg" on ESPN+
Natasha Jonas is ready for another shot at Katie Taylor
Nearly nine years after she met Katie Taylor and made history as the first British woman to box at the Olympics, Natasha Jonas tells ESPN's Kathleen McNamee about her upbringing, football being her first love, and how she rose to become a boxing sensation.
Fran Kirby's ultimate battle: How the Chelsea women's star beat heart disease to get back to the top
Kirby's mindset in 2021 is informed by how, in 2020, her career was nearly taken away. The Chelsea and England star talks to ESPN's Tom Hamilton about her journey.
• COVID-19: Meet the women who sacrificed their sport to work on the frontlines
• Zenatha Coleman carries a heavy load as Namibia's lone ambassador
• Women's sports combatting a surprising barrier to entry: gear designed with men in mind
• ESPNcricinfo: Anna Harris is flying the flag for women umpires everywhere
First Take, Her Take!
ESPN's Kimberley A. Martin, Chiney Ogwumike and Charly Arnolt discuss the biggest sports stories, their lives and culture. Catch the new episodes wherever you get your podcasts.
• Dak Prescott gets paid, the royal-TEA spilled during Oprah's interview, and GMA's Robin Roberts.
Alice Dearing: Team GB's trailblazing swimmer breaking barriers in and outside the pool
Alice Dearing tells ESPN about her amazing journey as she sets her sights on becoming the first Black female swimmer for Team GB at this summer's Olympic Games.