Student Athlete Column: Let’s Cover All Athletes


While not a perfect product, Fordham Athletics can do a better job of covering all sports. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham has talked about building up the athletic community for quite some time, but time and time again has failed. So many athletes have been left unseen and unheard throughout our community, and it needs to get better. 

During the pandemic, at the very end of 2020, when classes were online, a group called The Herd was created in order to connect Fordham students with the athletes. Its goal was to ensure that the student body was kept up to date with the current status of all the teams. This included the games, scores and any stand out players who were doing extraordinarily well. 

Along with an increase in social media presence, this group would accompany the administration-structured account called @fordhamathletics on Instagram. 

As we approach championship season, there have been many stellar performances by our winter teams. Women’s and Men’s basketball continue to play hard through their long seasons. Track & Field have just competed in the Metropolitan Championship: the women placed first and the men placed second. Swimming and Diving just finished their regular season meets and are looking forward to the Atlantic 10 Championships in less than 10 days. The squash team only has a few more matches until it approaches championship games at the end of the month. Both the men and women’s tennis teams have started their seasons off strong. 

The question is: would you be able to tell all of this information by looking at the Fordham Athletics Instagram page? Taking a look at The Herd’s page, would you know the status of the squash team? 

At first glance, the Fordham Athletics Instagram page notes the importance of Black History Month. With these infographics there is also a lot of information about giveaways and events that occur during the basketball games. A quick scan of a majority of the posts reveal that a lot of emphasis is placed on the basketball and football teams. There are a couple mentions of both the men and women soccer teams, but there does not seem to be much about the swim and dive team, the squash team, the tennis team and the  sole post of the women’s track team’s first Metropolitan Championship win.

Earlier on Sunday morning, this same page posted a screenshot of a picture from The Herd’s Instagram page. This picture had notable information about the swim team and its most recent accomplishments. After a few people had reached out to The Herd’s account, the owners created an infographic with this important information. 

This post had two pictures in it. One picture congratulated all the seniors, and the second picture listed facts about the team. Some facts included senior diver Natalie Ortof’s qualification for NCAA Zone Diving (this had happened during the first few meets of the season), graduate student Becky Kamau’s new program record in the 200 yard breaststroke and senior Spencer Clarke’s second fastest time in the 100 yard freestyle in program history. If these details are examined more closely, it becomes clear that these are not entirely recent accomplishments. It seems like The Herd wanted to quickly cover something in order to quell the complaints of athletes who felt ignored.

A day after The Herd had posted this picture, the Fordham Athletics Instagram page screenshotted the picture with this information and reposted it. It was clear in the post that this picture was taken from The Herd’s account. You could see the headline of where the picture was coming from.t the very top, it said “theherdrh,” indicating that whoever posted the picture put in little effort in order to “cover” the swim and dive team.

This is just one example of how these accounts have failed to recognize the successes that happen so frequently within the program. As a track athlete, I have noticed that The Herd did not cover the women’s track team’s win in the Metropolitan Championship. I could have missed the 24-hour Instagram story of it, but I know that a championship win is still something notable. When the water polo team won the Mid-Atlantic Conference, it was posted about on the Instagram page. For the first time in women’s track and field history, we won the Mets, a big deal for a program that is more than 100 years old. 

With so many teams doing many different things, it is understandable that it is complicated to cover everyone. That being said, it would be fair to note that it is important to cover every sport equally, treating all sports teams with the same recognition and praise when they win. 

Quite a few athletes have noticed the imbalance on these pages and have been vocal about it. In support of all athletes, some have commented on these pictures and sent messages to these accounts, letting them know where they have dropped the ball. I am also writing to let the administrators of these accounts know that it is time that we cover all athletes.