Drake isn’t the only NBA fan who really enjoys listening to Doris Burke call NBA games for ESPN. We do, too. So do countless other NBA fans out there. Burke has really carved out her own niche in the sports broadcasting world and established herself as one of the preeminent voices when it comes to calling games for The Worldwide Leader in Sports.
But Burke isn’t sure how much longer she’s going to continue being a sports broadcaster. It’s partly because, at some point, she wants to settle down and be a "doting grandmother" once her kids start to have kids of their own. But at the same time, it’s also unfortunately because Burke isn’t sure how much longer ESPN and other networks are going to have her. In a new Sports Illustrated feature, Burke spoke about how she expects aging to play a part in the longevity of her career. The 52-year-old pointed out how it’s rare to see women of a certain age on TV.
"We still have a long way to go," Burke said while speaking about women broadcasters as a whole. "Because the reality is that I’m 52 years old. And how many 55 to 60-year-old women do you see in sports broadcasting? How many? I see a lot of 60-year-old men broadcasting."
Burke continued by talking about how the way the broadcasting business treats men versus how it treats women is inherently unfair. She cited the recent scandal involving Matt Lauer while illustrating the fact that older men are routinely put into positions of power on TV while women are replaced with younger versions.
"The physical appearance and natural aging of all the men doing this job don’t matter," Burke said. "It’s funny with this whole Matt Lauer thing. I have been reading how he has aged, but his [female] cohosts stay in the same demographic grouping. So he gets older but his sidekick does not? Right. Frankly, that’s bullshit. That’s absolute bullshit."
Burke also said that, despite the pressures to maintain a more youthful appearance, she doesn’t plan on trying to reverse the effects of aging by undergoing surgery or taking other drastic steps. She’s going to put the onus on the networks to decide whether she’s fit to broadcast games based on her performance as opposed to just her looks.
"Listen, I want to be considered attractive," she said. "Am I going to undergo surgery to make myself look younger? No. So the wrinkles you see on my face and the signs of age that I have, they’re going to be there, period, and it’s up to the networks to decide [if it’s acceptable]."
For the sake of all the NBA fans out there, we hope Burke sticks around for a long, long time. She’s great at what she does, and she deserves to broadcast for as long as she wants to do it. Go here to check out the rest of her SI feature.