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"Women are freaking incredible and powerful and anyone who doesn't see that can kiss my big achey butt."

By Claire Gillespie
October 26, 2020
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For women in a male-dominated field like sportscasting, anonymous online criticism seems to be part of the job—even (or maybe especially) when a woman is pregnant. ESPN broadcaster Molly McGrath knows that firsthand, and she took to Instagram to talk about one recent incident that really got to her.

"Last night I was on my feet for over 6 hours straight, in the rain, and knew that I would only get 3 hours of sleep because of a last second flight change," she wrote in the post, shared October 11. "For the first time, maybe ever, I let a cruel troll tweet about the changes of my pregnant body get to me."

McGrath, 31, wrote the caption alongside a photo of her on the sidelines with her baby bump showing—and in her note, she went on to say just how difficult pregnancy can be for all women. "Here’s the thing: being pregnant is hard, especially as I enter my third trimester," she wrote. "My feet swell and hurt like I’ve never imagined and my back constantly aches. Not to mention the slew of other symptoms like nausea, heartburn, and exhaustion."

But while the hurtful tweet hit a nerve, it also made McGrath realize how much she has to be proud of. "I am making a HUMAN LIFE! The baby I'm carrying around could live outside of my body right now, and my strong ass body made that baby from scratch," she wrote.

She also pointed out that her job as a sideline reporter is hard enough without being pregnant. "But you know what, I wouldn't change ANY of my circumstances in a second," she wrote. "I feel so incredibly lucky to have a job that I'm so passionate about, it makes me forget that a little human is kicking my ribs. I am proud to be a pregnant woman working full-time and I am proud that the monstrosity of creating a human life has not, and will not, slow me down."

The mom-to-be told Yahoo Life why she shared a public response to the cruel tweet. "I have pretty thick skin… but this particular comment about my pregnant body made me angry," she said. "I felt that it was my responsibility to use this situation as an example and show women that they don't have to be ashamed of their bodies, especially when they're carrying life inside of them. It's rare to see a pregnant woman on television, but shouldn't television be a representation of the world we live in?"

McGrath also revealed that she had concerns about how her pregnancy might affect her career, and so waited as long as she could before making the announcement. "Especially now during the pandemic, women's place in the workplace is threatened as more and more mothers are balancing work, childcare and even homeschooling," she said. "It's been disheartening to see that just as it did decades ago, the household responsibilities fall solely on so many women, making a career nearly impossible."

Luckily, McGrath has had lots of support from her husband and her ESPN bosses, and didn't feel under any pressure to keep her pregnancy hidden. "I don't want women to hide anymore if they don't want to. I want young women to see me on TV and know that you can have a successful career and a family," she said.

As for the trolls, McGrath had the perfect parting words: "Women are freaking incredible and powerful and anyone who doesn't see that can kiss my big achey butt."

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