September 25, 1977: Female Sports Writer Files Suit Against Major League Baseball

Melissa Ludtke (not pictured) sued to allow women to gain access into restricted areas, including locker rooms and clubhouses.

By Eric Shorey

This Day in Crime History is a flash briefing available on Amazon Alexa. Just search OXYGEN to enable.

On September 25, 1977, writer Melissa Ludtke filed a suit against the Major League Baseball commission to allow women to gain access into restricted areas, including locker rooms and clubhouses. Ludtke’s suit was successful, leading to an influx of female sports writers in a profession seen as male-dominated.

Ludtke argued that rules about gendered access to locker rooms and clubs violated her 14th amendment rights. The court ruled in her favor, stating that her fundamental right to pursue a career was violated based on her sex.

Ludtke would go on to receive the Yankee Quill Award, the highest individual honor bestowed on a journalist in New England.

In 2016, Ludtke penned an article on the continuing harassment women face in the field of sports journalism, writing: “Hostility at the women who show up in male-dominated spaces weaves its way through each of our generation’s name-calling. What’s changed in 40 years is the astoundingly higher level of tolerance we have for verbal (and written) abuse, and not just against women. Sadly, we seem to have grown accustomed to the misogynistic tone of what’s routinely said about women in power or about those in positions where some men don’t feel they belong."

Pictured above: Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals celebrates while talking to a female reporter in the locker room after their 2 to 1 win over the Baltimore Orioles to sweep the series in Game Four of the American League Championship Series on October 15, 2014.

[Photo: Getty Images]



Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet