What Robin Roberts did before Good Morning America

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts is one of the most prominent figures on morning television. In April, the journalist celebrated her 20th anniversary with the popular news show, which she joined in 2002. “I’m incredibly grateful and really humbled … It’s been wonderful,” Roberts said (via People). Adding, “To be with you all… I am so richly blessed. I don’t know how that happened. I’m just very grateful at this moment.”

Robert’s time on the show undoubtedly contributed to its massive success. The ABC program regularly surpasses its NBC competitor Today as the dominant news program, according to Variety. Robert’s co-host George Stephanopoulos also called the TV personality “the heart of ‘GMA'”. Fans have also praised Roberts online. “I’ve never met Robin in person but I’ve always admired her for her grace and ability to push through even when life is tough,” one person tweeted. And while the ‘GMA’ presenter has become synonymous with her role on daytime television, her career before the morning news has been just as eventful.

Robin Roberts was a sports reporter

Robin Roberts is best known for her starring role as one of the faces of Good Morning America. But long before she joined the ABC news program, she had a lucrative career as a sports anchor. Roberts was a reporter for television stations in Mississippi, Nashville and Atlanta.

In an interview with Bustle, the news personality revealed that she was originally offered a role on ESPN when she was 28, but turned down the offer. “I had an interview at ESPN … but I hadn’t worked in a big market [yet, or] covered all the professional teams,” she said. “I realized that as a black woman, my error rate was lower than that of my white peers. I knew I couldn’t screw it up and that I would probably get a chance. So I turned down ESPN. I didn’t feel like I was ready.” A year later, Roberts received another offer from the network, and the rest is broadcast history. She spent the next 15 years on ESPN as a co-host of SportsCenter.

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Robin Roberts is a sports broadcasting legend

Robin Roberts’ years at ESPN eventually led to various reporting roles for Good Morning America before she left in 2005 to join the news program full-time. However, her time spent covering professional athletes later earned her an introduction to the sport in the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. At the annual ceremony in 2016, Roberts’ former “SportsCenter” co-host Bob Ley called her “a national treasure.”

During her introductory speech, Roberts said she’s wanted to work for ESPN since the network debuted. “I remember when ESPN came on the air, and I thought I’ll work for ESPN one day,” she said. “People said no first of all because you’re a woman. And second, it won’t stay that way for long.”

Today, Roberts remains in her position at “GMA” and shows no signs of slowing down. After returning to the morning show in 2013 — after battling complications from myelodysplastic syndrome — Roberts reportedly signed a long-term, multimillion-dollar contract with ABC.