The Boston sports scene is known for its die-hard fanatics, so much so that many claim Beantown is the greatest sports city in America. But sports media coverage is lacking in some areas — a fact which became abundantly clear to one woman on Nov. 26th, 2021. Upon turning to the sports section of The Boston Globe, the Rev. Laura Everett was shocked to find that of the 12 full pages, there was not one mention of a women's sports team. So she took matters into her own hands. Everett, who serves as the executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, joined GBH’s All Things Considered host Arun Rath to unpack her new venture: Boston Women's Sports. What follows is a lightly edited transcript.

Arun Rath: You wrote in a tweet that the date we mentioned, Nov. 26, 2021, about a year ago, marked the start of Boston Women's Sports "villain origin story." Unpack that phrase for us.

Rev. Laura Everett: I had noticed for a while the real dearth in coverage of professional women's sports here in Boston. But that one day for me, I looked in the [Boston] Globe and I couldn't believe my eyes that not a single professional women's team here in Boston, in New England, any of our national U.S. teams, were covered at all. It was like women didn't exist. It was on the day after [soccer player] Formiga retired from international play. This is a player so essential to the women's game that there had never been an Olympic tournament without her. So from that day on, I started a gender audit of the Globe's sports section, and the results were embarrassingly biased. Professional athletes in women's leagues didn't exist here.

Rath: I'm sure it wasn't the first time you've thumbed through the sports section of the Globe that day. Was it shocking to you, or how much was that a relevation?

Everett: I think it was eye opening to really put numbers and then to put images behind it. What I started doing was scrolling through the pages to see how long it took before there was a story about women athletes. And then I started using images on my phone just to block out all of the stories about men and to see where women were visible. It gave a real visual representation about how little women actually existed on the pages of the Boston Globe, and that really led me to a greater awareness.

You know, before all of this, I'll own that I wasn't paying as much attention to the Boston Pride, our local professional women's hockey team. But now I count myself among the fans.

Rath: With newspapers being online, that research is just right there for you to do it. As you dug into it, give us some of the detail beyond that one day. What are some of the broader patterns that you saw?

Everett: You know, the things I started to notice were first, that it's not just limited to The Boston Globe. The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, candidly, our two local NPR affiliates aren't great about covering women either.

Then there's also a trend that high school sports with girls do get decent coverage, and even some of the college teams do, too. But the idea that professional women athletes in the WNBA, in the NWSL (the National Women's Soccer League) and the PHF (the Professional Hockey Federation) deserve equal coverage just isn't there. So it's really hard to find out when these women's professional teams are playing, what the scores are.

And then anything about stories about local athletes who have gone on to other teams. Athletes like Shey Peddy, a native of Roxbury who is playing for the Phoenix Mercury, or even an athlete like Aliyah Boston, who's in her senior year at the University of South Carolina, who's one of the best basketball players in the NCAA right now. We have so much local talent that's coming out of Boston. What is lagging behind is the coverage.

Rath: As much as I really want to get indignant alongside you here, I've got to take some ownership because you mentioned public radio. We have two public broadcasting stations here, and on this show, I routinely will throw in sports when there's time at the end of the newscast, and I very rarely say anything about women's teams.

Everett: Yeah, it really is a question I have for you all at GBH. I listen pretty regularly and I hear you all call out the scores or the upcoming games for the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins and the Patriots. But I don't think I've ever heard you all mention when the Boston Pride were playing or how they did in their last game, and I wonder why that is. What decision goes into what professional teams you call and what ones you leave out?

Rath: Yeah, that's a fair question. I promise you that's something we'll think about going forward because we've covered the Boston Pride, but we don't cover the games in the kind of detail that we should. So, we'll talk more about this, and you can come back on and grade us.

Beyond this area, tell us about the feedback you've gotten from taking this one, and have any others and the media had any response to it in terms of taking ownership of it?

Everett: Well, look, this is something that comes from a place of joy and not resentment. I really think women's sports is not a charity case. It's an investment opportunity. These are elite athletes, and you watch because it has incredible skill, tenacity and athleticism. And so the investment is timely. It's worth our energy and it's worth our attention. The reason to watch the Pride is maybe a feminist commitment for some, maybe a commitment about dollars for others. But right now, it's because it's a really winning team.

So while I'm annoyed that the Globe columnist on Dec. 23 was complaining about how there hasn't been a championship in Boston in the last four years, Bob Ryan is wrong. There has been. He just hasn't been paying attention. The rest of us have been having a damn good time because the Boston Pride have won two championships of the Isobel Cup in a row. And so what is available to everyone, including Saturday and Sunday at Warrior Arena, is back-to-back championships with the Boston Pride.

Rath: So I can't speak for other media organizations, but I do think it's generally true that when we see areas that aren't getting coverage, I think at root a lot of the time is the perception that there's not an audience that's interested. As much as that might be a notion, can you dismiss that for us?

Everett: Absolutely. You know, I think it's like arguing that the WNBA doesn't deserve coverage because it doesn't get the same numbers as the NBA, but the NBA started 50 years before the WNBA. The NBA started at a time when men could buy tickets on their own and women couldn't even apply for their own credit cards. So if you have a product that only men can buy, of course there's going to be a greater audience for it.

Last year, there was a $75 million new investment for the WNBA. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the near term, we're looking at a WNBA team for Boston. Women's sports fans are some of the most devout. What we lack is opportunity. There's huge investment opportunity here. What's not following is the coverage.