ESPN’s Maria Taylor and more stylish female sideline reporters

During Monday’s Giants-Steelers game, the pigskin wasn’t the only leather that viewers had their eyes on.

ESPN reporter Maria Taylor, 33, paired black pants with a sexy black leather top. The former college athlete and network superstar’s bold look became a symbol of female empowerment after radio host Dan McNeil tried to play fashion police and criticized her style.

McNeil tweeted a screenshot of Taylor in action on the MetLife sideline and wrote, “NFL sideline reporter or a host for the AVN annual awards presentation?,” referring to the porn industry’s awards show. He deleted the tweet a half-hour later, but the damage was done. She fired back, accusing him of misogyny, and his employer Entercom gave him the boot Tuesday over the offensive tweet.

But female broadcasters and on-air reporters are breaking free from the old sartorial playbook: jewel-tone sheath dresses and businesslike blazers and blouses. In recent years, many have begun embracing their individuality and femininity in their fashion game.

Here are three of the fashionable women breaking style rules while breaking sports news.

Malika Andrews

Andrews, who joined ESPN in October 2018, stands out on the hardwood for her garden-party-chic wardrobe. While many of her counterparts are in leggings, boots or a fitted colorful dress, she opts for flowing floral feminine frocks. It has become her trademark, as has breaking scoops as she covers the NBA from inside the Orlando bubble.

NBA reporter Malika Andrews
NBA reporter Malika AndrewsGetty Images

Cassidy Hubbarth

From sleek suits and sleeve cutouts to edgy military-inspired pants and cool leather jackets, the 31-year-old ESPN NBA reporter isn’t afraid to put youthful spins on classic pieces. She’s rocked every silhouette across the board while covering hoops since August. Two standout looks were a sunny yellow suit and a red midi-dress with subtle ruffles.

NBA reporter Cassidy Hubbarth
NBA reporter Cassidy HubbarthGetty Images

Allie LaForce

LaForce is never one to shy away from sleek cuts and playful bold colors. While inside the NBA bubble, the 31-year-old TNT reporter (who is married to MLB player Joe Smith) has amped up her already varied repertoire. She’s worn a black and white striped blazer dress that screamed haute Beetlejuice, followed by a hot-pink combo of wide-leg pants and sleeveless double-breasted blazer from Zara, which she joked was inspired by a throwback Charles Barkley ensemble of monochrome shorts and tank.