5 Reasons We Love Monica McNutt

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Monica McNutt is a gem. The basketball analyst and reporter is making headlines due to her spirited debate with fellow sports analyst Stephen A. Smith and his sentiments about the culture within the WNBA. The conversation began with a mention of Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter’s foul on Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark in last week’s WNBA match up. Not long after, the conversation pivoted to Smith, and his coverage of the women’s sports throughout the years.

“Stephen A, respectfully, with your platform, you could’ve been doing this three years ago, if you wanted to,” says McNutt on the question of who covers women’s sports more than First Take. “You know you’re my guy, Stephen A. I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you. Don’t do that. I’m talking to you about the power that you have.”

The spirited conversation left Smith speechless, a rare occurrence for the passionate and theatrical sports commentator. Nonetheless, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the PG County native. Keep reading for five reasons we’re rooting for Monica McNutt.

She’s Not New To This, She’s True To This.

5 Reasons We Love Monica McNutt
UNCASVILLE, CT – SEPTEMBER 17: Basketball analyst Monica McNutt poses for a photo during Game 2 of the First Round of the WNBA Playoffs between the Minnesota Lynx and the Connecticut Sun on September 17, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. (Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As a sports commentator, McNutt is taking her experience from on the court to her role as a sports commentator. She’s had a meteoric rise in media, serving as an analyst, host, reporter and radio voice for ESPN and MSG Networks.

She’s passionate about women’s sports.

5 Reasons We Love Monica McNutt
COLLEGE PARK, MD – MARCH 20: Monica McNutt #20 of the Georgetown Hoyas takes a jump shot against the Princeton Tigers during the First Round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament at the Comcast Center on March 20, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. The Hoyas won 65-49. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Prior to seeing her face during New York Knicks games giving us the play-by-play, McNutt formerly played college basketball as a guard for the Georgetown Hoyas from 2007-2010.

She’s all about representation.

5 Reasons We Love Monica McNutt
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – MAY 04: Monica McNutt, Niele Ivey, and Jaden Ivey speak during the 2023 espnW Summit NYC at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on May 04, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

If her exchange with Smith didn’t signify it, McNutt is a firm believer that representation matters. Sports media largely still remains white and male, and she joins but a small list of Black women commentating on sports within the media space. In fact a 2021 report from the Associated Press Sports Editors found that while Black men hold 10.7 percent of reporter positions, Black women hold just 1.1 percent.

She embraces her natural hair.

5 Reasons We Love Monica McNutt
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 16: Monica McNutt attends the 2024 Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 16, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

In an interview with The Cut, McNutt cited that one of her biggest inspirations in sports media was Jemele Hill, who showed up authentically as herself, sporting her natural hair. Whether she’s on the court or live on the camera, you’ll see her rocking her signature natural curls.

5 Reasons We Love Monica McNutt
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Monica McNutt, Ari Chambers, and LaChina Robinson attend the 4th Annual Sports Power Brunch: Celebrating the Most Powerful Women in Sports on February 07, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for The Sports Power Brunch)

In addition to her contributions to the world of sports, she’s also nurturing the next generation of women’s basketball players through Grow Our Game, a nonprofit organization that helps little girls build confidence in themselves through basketball.

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