Radio Talker Mike Francesa Insists Female Head Coaches in Pro Sports Just a ‘Publicity Stunt’

Kim Mulkey

New York sports radio talker Mike Francesa is still taking heat for insisting that it would be nothing but a publicity stunt if any pro sports team hired a female head coach.

Last week the WFAN 66 AM talk show host raised eyebrows with his claim that it might be a task too difficult for a woman to manage men.

“Do you know how difficult it would be on a female to manage 25 men? Or 50 men? Do you know how impossible that would be?… It wouldn’t be tough. It would be impossible,” Francesa said in response to a question from a caller. “You’re going to tell me that you would think a woman could walk into an NFL team and coach as a head coach 15 assistants and 50-60 men?”

Naturally, as soon as he said it, he was slammed as a “sexist” and “misogynist.”

The controversy over his remarks didn’t end with the weekend, though, and as the week began Francesa doubled down on his stance that it would be “impossible” for a woman to become a head coach in pro sports.

On Monday, the radio talker added more to his position saying, “You want to thrust a woman into that kind of vacuum where she’s going to have to deal with that kind of scrutiny? How is she going to stand up to that? How would you find a résumé to stand up to that.”

He continued talking about how hard it would be for a woman to control an entire team of rowdy young men.

“It would be so difficult to run that room. It’s difficult for men to run these rooms now,” he said.

Liberals were still unhappy with the comments, of course.

Ty Duffy of was critical of the comments and relayed the liberal line against Francesa’s comments.

While admitting that the task would be very difficult, Duffy went on to attack the commonly held idea that women just can’t control all those men.

“Couching women not being able to do things such as controlling men as ‘practical,’ ‘reasonable,’ and ‘common sense’ wisdom is a ploy to not have to dive into the assumptions that underly [sic] them, which probably sound pretty sexist if uttered,” he wrote.

“There are very few women in leadership positions in men’s professional sports. There isn’t a real objective reason for that. If a team thinks Becky Hammon, Nancy Lieberman, or someone else who comes along would make a great head coach, they should hire them. That hire, as with any other, would come under scrutiny and be judged by subsequent performance,” Duffy concluded.

But Francesa is probably only voicing the same thought a large number of sports fans hold on the topic. How likely is it that a large group of testosterone-driven young men would bow to the demands of a woman is certainly the question.

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