Portland Trail Blazers digital content manager Amara Baptist spends considerable time covering players such as Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic, but a recent story by Sharon Brown of Complex covers how female social media managers like Baptist have had an outsize impact on today’s NBA. Baptist took over the Blazers’ social media early last summer, and her coverage quickly set Portland apart from other teams in the league. According to Baptist, she has one important goal in mind when creating content.
“If I can help in any way to create a bond between our players and our fans that is bigger than basketball, I feel that I have done my job well,” says the Portland Trail Blazers’ digital content manager.
In the piece, Brown explores how female social media managers have changed the landscape around the league in terms of team coverage, despite being in an industry largely run by men. Baptist notes that she is one of two women who travels with the team regularly (the other being courtside reporter Brooke Olzendam), but she feels that the Blazers have created an inclusive environment.
“I feel I have the respect of my peers and superiors, and always feel comfortable sharing ideas or thoughts,” says Baptist. “The Blazers have made a concerted effort to implement DEI”—diversity, equity, and inclusion—“training into everything we do to make sure anything we are taking on or putting out speaks to people of all different backgrounds.”
That inclusive environment extends to taking on Twitter and Instagram trolls. Baptist explains how her superiors have empowered her to make the Blazers’ stance clear.
“I have had the support of my superiors at the Blazers to try and fight off the trolls by responding on social and essentially embarrassing them in the comments,” says Baptist. “For example, when we were promoting our Pride Night, the comments were awful and full of ignorance. I had the support of my bosses to call out those people, in a nice way, and make [it] known where the organization stands.”
The story examines other social media managers around the NBA, including the Utah Jazz’ Angie Treasure, the L.A. Clippers’ Paula Hughes, and the Golden State Warriors’ Karen Ramming, and the role they have played in shifting what league offices look like. You can read more here.