NBC Sports Philadelphia named Kate Scott the television play-by-play broadcaster of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Scott comes to Philadelphia as a veteran in the sports media industry. She has thirteen years of experience as an announcer, reporter, producer, anchor, and host.
In 2020, Scott aided in the launch of a new show, The Morning Roast, on 95.7 FM The Game in San Francisco. Prior to that, she spent six years as the first full-time female voice on San Francisco’s KNBR 680-AM The Sports Leader. Most recently, Scott called men’s and women’s basketball games for NBC Sports in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Her versatility expands beyond basketball, too. She has been the voice of college basketball, volleyball, soccer, and softball games, as well. In 2015, she began calling games for the Pac-12 Network. She has also made appearances on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California since 2013.
Before being named the new voice of the Sixers, Scott called a US Women’s National Team soccer match for the first time in her career on Fox Sports 1. Her work this summer did not stop at the Olympics. Scott also worked the play-by-play for FOX Sports’ coverage of the CONMEBOL Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup. Her experience extends to the Professional Women’s Hockey Player Assocation’s Chicago showcase and the Premier Hockey Federation’s Isobel Cup semifinals and finals for NBC Sports.
Currently, Scott serves as the voice of LEARFIELD’s College Football Saturday Night, a 13-game schedule of national radio broadcasts alongside Mike Golic.
The Elephant In The Room
Scott evidently has a robust résumé. Still, the blending of different generations of Americans overlaps with the age of social media. As a result, there is inevitably a group of people who opine that this choice is not a hire based on qualifications. Rather, they view it as a showcase of organizational efforts to be socially aware. Obviously, the underlying headline is that Scott is a female doing a job traditionally dominated by males. She’s also reputed for embracing her role as a barrier-breaker for women working in sports media. I cannot say with any knowledge that a desire to get with the times did or did not result in the decision-makers factoring gender into the decision.
However, the mistake is to assume that Scott is not qualified based on her appearance and identifying gender. Scott’s experience is what makes her a formidable candidate for the job. That holds regardless of gender or skin pigmentation.
Time will tell if she’s meant to be the play-by-play voice of the Sixers in perpetuity. Gender should not decide whether she is or is not, either.
Male or female, this isn’t about filling Marc Zumoff’s shoes. That cannot be done. Rather, this is about the next era of narrating Sixers games on television. It’s only human to compare yourself to your predecessor. However, Kate Scott should not be worried about being the next Zumoff. Rather, her focus should be on becoming the best version of Kate Scott. If she does that, it won’t be about the era following Zumoff’s reign. It will be about the Kate Scott era of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s coverage of Sixers games.