Creators of Color Series

Celebrating Minority Sports Content Creators

By iHire | January 19, 2022

"Primarily, Blacks and Hispanics are leaving because they're not getting opportunities to grow within the teams … [employers] are not offering higher rates, they're not offering better health options, they're not offering relocation."

-Devin Dismang, Director of Athlete Partnerships (STN Digital)

The WorkInSports Podcast highlights the multitude of roles that organizations of all sizes need to fill, such as marketing, sports science, and sponsorships. Another area that we have regularly explored is content creation, which is the area we dive into today.

Sports has been called the great equalizer for its ability to build bridges, transcend borders and cultures, and render even the fiercest conflicts temporarily irrelevant. While this appears true when considering the diversity of athletes in terms of the percentage of non-white athletes competing (83% in the NBA, 73% in the NFL, 62% in MLS, and 39% in MLB according to the University of Central Florida's Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sports), the reality is different behind the scenes.

"I was the only Black woman on the social media team, which in a sense, I had to hold myself to a high standard because you have to do a great job."

-Ty Carter, Social Media Coordinator (Overtime)

In this WorkInSports Podcast episode, we've partnered with Hashtag Sports to highlight the stories of creative workers off the field in their Creators of Color series. These creators are some of the best at what they do in the sports industry, and their sports career advice is grounded in lived experiences that with few, if any, co-workers who look like them. Here are some of their stories:

"I dealt with a lot of just racist comments and just me being Black and being a female. And just even now with the Carolina Panthers, even on the sidelines, I'm still getting those dirty looks."

-Chanelle Smith-Walker, Team Photographer (Carolina Panthers)

Having recently celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we started the week by reflecting on Dr. King's legacy in the fight for equal rights and dignity for African Americans and other historically marginalized communities. While the country has made strides on that front, these Creators of Color clearly say there is more work to do, and they have suggestions to make further improvements to their day-to-day situations.

"If I were put in that position, I would just advise them to create structures or create places where people can attend low of charge, free of charge, where they could be able to have access to cameras, editing software, and then you would start to see some really beautiful things get created because they [put in] the hard work."

-CJ Dear, Senior Producer (Fox Sports)

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Special thanks to Hashtag Sports for allowing us to give a space for their Creators of Color Cohorts to share their stories of how they got where they are today. Catch the full episode for perspectives from all our guests:

  • Shahbaz Khan, Director of Digital Content (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Devin Dismang, Director of Athlete Partnerships (STN Digital)
  • Chanelle Smith-Walker, Team Photographer (Carolina Panthers)
  • J'Ron Erby, Senior Social Media Marketing Specialist (ESPN)
  • Roman King, Creative Director (WNBA)
  • Ty Carter, Social Media Coordinator (Overtime)
  • CJ Dear, Senior Producer (Fox Sports)

To learn more about the change-makers in the creative side of the sports industry and submit nominations for Hashtag Sports' Creators of Color 2022 Cohorts, visit creators.hashtagsports.com.

Subscribe to the WorkInSports Podcast for more sports career advice wherever you listen. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for additional content.


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