It is often said that nothing good happens after midnight. But that’s not quite true. If you tune to CBS Sports Radio from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET, you’ll hear the voice of Amy Lawrence tackling the hottest topics in sports as host of “After Hours with Amy Lawrence.”
Lawrence is on the forefront of sports radio, not only because of her vast abilities behind the microphone, but because she is one of the only women to host a daily talk show at a national level. In fact, in 2015, Talkers Magazine named her as the only woman in its list of the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.
Yet her gender isn’t the only characteristic that separates her from the crowd. Her faith does too.
“I’ve been with CBS since January 1st of 2013,” she told us on the Sports Spectrum podcast last year, “and I haven’t met another Christian in the workplace.”
Lawrence gave her life to Christ when she was 6 years old and it’s been an integral part of her life ever since. Lawrence is able to incorporate her faith into her job in various ways, from watching her language to being mindful of how she treats others.
“When I go to work, the goal is to carry myself in a way that glorifies the Lord,” she said.
Lawrence has certainly carved out her place to great acclaim in the secular, male-dominated industry of sports talk radio. Yet with that come a host of challenges.
Before she joined CBS, Lawrence spent nine years at ESPN, where she was the only regular female host. Especially in early years, before she had the clout she now has, Lawrence faced harassment from her co-workers.
Often, she said, “it operated more like a locker room than a news room.”
She usually found herself to be the only woman in the room. While that gave her a unique perspective on sports, it often isolated her from the banter of her male colleagues.
“I still felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb and that I was alone many times,” she said.
Due in part to her own pioneering work, Lawrence can sense the culture around sports talk radio changing, especially after the start of the #MeToo Movement. Her hope is that other women won’t endure what she did.
Yet in the last 10 years, Lawrence has had to fight another fight.
“Social media has been the biggest challenge of the last decade, even more so than being a female in a male dominated industry,” she said.
She was at first resistant to Twitter, but once on the platform, she opened herself up to intense criticism. The criticism often goes beyond her abilities as a talk show host and focuses on her being a woman. Sometimes, she said, even her faith is the target of attacks. She has realized these fights cannot be fought or won on social media, preferring instead to block the antagonizers. Her relationship with Christ also provides an immense source of comfort.
“When I come home every morning, if it’s been a particularly brutal night on Facebook or Twitter and people have come after me, I have to take a deep breath and I have to remember what God says I am,” Lawrence said. “I’m a daughter of the King. Period.”
The bombardment of hateful comments by social media trolls isn’t enough to shake the passion for sports talk radio she’s had since her teenage years. She became hooked on the excitement sports offer and she soon gravitated toward the legendary Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s.
“We didn’t have cable TV where we lived, out in the boonies in Concord, New Hampshire, and the only way I could follow the Celtics and my favorite athlete of all time, Larry Bird, most nights was to listen on the radio,” Lawrence said.
It was then that her dream was born, and that dream led her to get bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Accounting from Messiah College and a master’s degree in TV and Radio from Syracuse University. From there, she hopped around from Rhode Island to New Hampshire to New York to Oklahoma before stopping at ESPN Radio.
Throughout her successful yet often turbulent life, Lawrence has leaned on her faith. In her childhood and young adult years, when fathers are so important, Lawrence’s was not around much. Instead, God filled in the gaps.
“Everything that a dad is supposed to be for his daughter,” Lawrence said, “God the Father became that to me because I didn’t have it in an earthly form.”
More recently, the Lord developed in her a passion for missions. She writes about it on her blog, “I relish opportunities to share my faith. I desire to tell people about my relationship with Jesus.” The last two summers, God took her to Cuba.
“God opened up my eyes to help me recognize that He doesn’t need me. He is God of the universe,” Lawrence said. “He has given us an opportunity as Christians to be part of what He’s doing here on the Earth and to extend His Kingdom and to share the Good News about Jesus with other people.”
Lawrence’s life has never been smooth. It has never been easy. She hasn’t even had the opportunity to meet Larry Bird, cemented at No. 1 on her bucket list. But because of the renewed life she has in Christ, the Amy Lawrence story is one of grace and peace.
“He’s always got me and He’s never going to let go,” she told us. “Ultimately, it’s the reason why I get out of bed. It’s the reason I can keep going even through heartbreak and through disappointment. It’s the reason why I can’t give up.”
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