Josina Anderson is an American journalist, sports commentator and former athlete, born on 15 August 1978 in Washington DC, USA. She’s known for her work on famous networks such as Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) and FOX 31.
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Josina is the only daughter resulting from Lloyd and Yasmin Anderson’s marriage. Josina also has a brother – of age and name unknown – who works as a film producer. Josina attended Montgomery Blair High School located in Maryland, and during her time there, she worked as an announcer for the recruitment school Maryland Blazers.
Besides her interest in sports, Josina was an avid ballet dancer, which led her to participate in several nationwide competitions during her youth.
After her high school matriculation, Josina Anderson left her hometown to attend the University of North Carolina. There she studied Exercise and Sports Science, and excelled in track and field competitions, winning various medals through her college career. She graduated in 1997.
Internships & First Steps
Right after graduation, Josina Anderson returned to Washington DC and started her professional internships on the radio station WTEM. During her time there she worked half-time for the show “The Tony Kornheiser”, working the rest of the time for WPGC-FM in “The Donnie Simpson Morning Show”.
After gaining good experience in the work field, Josina Anderson finally obtained her first full-time job at a local channel in Coos Bay, in Oregon.
Although she was hired quickly and everything seemed to go well for her there, she started searching for other job opportunities later that year.
FOX 31 & ESPN
In 2001 Josina left her work in Oregon to move back to Washington, despite not having any job offers there. During three years approximately, Josina lived in her parents house while working part-time as a track and field trainer, and the rest of the time as an independent sports commentator for local and University teams.
Although in 2003 she failed her audition for FOX 31, in 2005 she gave it a try again with more successful results. She was hired by the network as a professional sports commentator, covering several important stories throughout the years she spent working there. Josina specialized in news about the National Football League (NFL), which ultimately led her to become a reporter for the show “Showtime’s Inside the NFL”.
In 2009 she was rewarded with an Emmy, for her coverage of the heartful story of John and Terina Dutton’s travel to adopt their son in Africa.
Looking for an upgrade in her professional career, in 2011 Josina left FOX 31 and moved to Chicago, where she started working for ESPN. During her time with this sports’ network, Josina gained huge recognition for her professionalism, and ultimately gained a spot as an insider in the show “NFL Insiders”, becoming the first female journalist to do so.
Not leaving her radio career behind, Josina became the host of various radios shows during her stay with ESPN, which led her to be awarded by the National Association of Black Journalists with a Salute to Excellence in the category of Radio – Feature.
In 2014 Josina Anderson’s career was put at stake following her comments regarding the showering routine of Michael Sam, at the time a member of the team St. Louis Rams and the first openly gay NFL player.
During the live report made by Anderson, she informed the audience Sam had to wait until after all of his teammates had showered to do so himself. The implications of her comments were heavily criticized by the media, along with LGBTQ activists and even St. Louis Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher, who condemned Josina’s report: ‘I think it’s unethical, I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content, the manner in which she did it’.
Jeff also said Josina was ‘out of the line’ for trying to make a story about the allegedly discomfort of Michael Sam’s teammates regarding his sexual orientation, also accusing her of ‘misleading’ several St. Louis Rams’ players with questions about Sam: ‘I’m disappointed for Mike. I’m disappointed for the players who she put in this position, and mostly I’m disappointed by her because she felt what she was doing was right’.
Following the huge backlash towards her, Josina Anderson apologized through ESPN’s website, and acknowledged that her words were insensitive, also adding a short note directed to Michael Sam: ‘I truly empathize with and respect your journey thus far on many different levels’.
In her statement she also emphasised that she didn’t intend her words to affect people the way it did, as she deeply appreciated serious and objective investigations while doing her work.
Despite the uproar that caused her report, Josina Anderson continued working for ESPN for several years more. Josina’s comment about Michael Sam’s showering habits in 2014 were mocked by “The Daily Show” in Comedy Central.
What happened to ESPN NFL reporter Josina Anderson?
In early 2020, The New York Post reported that Josina’s contract with ESPN would end in the summer, meaning the possible end of her relationship with the network. Although at first this report seemed to be based solely on speculations, in July that year it was announced that Josina was officially leaving the sports network for unspecified reasons.
In an interview in October, Josina revealed that despite being thankful for the opportunities ESPN brought to her, she left to close a chapter in her professional life: ‘We both moved on. They wanted to move in the direction they wanted to head. It was best for me to flourish in a new direction.’
She also affirmed her search for a new career path was caused by her need to pay more attention to social topics: ‘I tried to point out behind the scenes that as a person of color in the industry, as a woman in the industry, needed to be addressed. I have a strong voice.’
What is she doing now?
Since she left ESPN, she has been working as a free media agent, recently launching her own radio show “Undefined With Josina Anderson”: ‘The purpose of (it) for myself and everyone else is to remind ourselves we are not who we work for,’ she said in an interview with The Big Lead: ‘we can greenlight ourselves from someone collecting a check to writing a check.’
“Undefined” is also Josina’s effort to go far further from her sport reporter career to simply focus on guests of every industry, which has led her to interview singers, models and other types of celebrities besides sportsmen. When asked if she had considered returning to work under a big entertainment network, she has said she’s open to offers as long as she can get to host her own show.
Josina Anderson doesn’t reveal many details about her personal life, thus it’s unknown whether or not she has a current romantic partner, but that Josina hasn’t married and doesn’t have any children.
As of late 2020, Josina Anderson has an estimated net worth of over $2 million, which is the result of her successful career as a TV and radio sports commentator and reporter. She also charged her clients $100 a week during the time she worked as a track and field trainer.
Josina Anderson is an Afro-American woman of gorgeous features and athletic build. Her weight is unknown, but she is 5feet 8ins (1.73m) tall. Josina once dyed her hair red.
Josina Anderson is good friends with the former fellow ESPN reporter Jemele Hill. Josina expressed her support to her in regards to President Donald Trump, who accused Hill of ‘tanking’ ESPN’s audience rankings: ‘Stop attacking our colleague Jemele Hill, any other journalists or media entities. We are doing our work’.
When it comes to business, Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell and Martha Stewart are people she deeply admires: ‘Anybody who’s cutting a check and owning their own stuff is really a role model’.