SPORTS

How ESPN's Linda Cohn Stays Confident In An Industry Dominated By Men

"I deserve to be here."

It's been a fun challenge for ESPN's Linda Cohn to navigate the male-dominated sports world for over 30 years, she told HuffPost Live on Thursday. 

The "SportsCenter" anchor told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that she'd be lying if she didn't admit to still having days where she feels insecure about being a woman in the industry. But when she does, she quickly reminds herself of her worth. 

"I always had to fight [low self-esteem] and realize, wait a minute I know what I'm talking about, and I might be surrounded in a meeting room with all guys, but I deserve to be here," Cohn said. "I've earned my right to be here and I'm great at what I do. And it's not being cocky -- it's being confident. It's what guys do all the time. Women should do more of it."

Cohn said it's imperative for women working in the industry to be fully prepared and not cover up any insecurities by laughing a lot. She explained:

When you are dealing with a sports fan whose life, it's their escape and they know everything about their team and if you mess up for some reason, they're going to catch you. You cannot gloss it over. So I work very hard at that. So knowing my stuff, trying to get it right and taking ownership if I don't.

As Cohn celebrates her 5,000th episode as a "SportsCenter" anchor, she said she's always had to prove herself and doesn't have the luxury of having her tenure speak for itself. 

"I never could think, 'Oh I've been on for five years already, 10 years already, 15 years already.' I knew being a woman in a man's world ... that I always have to prove myself. But I'm not bitter about that. I love doing it. I look at it as a challenge."

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