Think of the greatest athlete of all time. While people might say LeBron James, Tom Brady, or some other male athlete, millions of girls around the world would immediately name a female athlete. There are so many positive female athletes breaking barriers in the sports world: Serena Williams, Allyson Felix, Megan Rapinoe, and too many more to count.
The sad fact is that a majority of women are put down for being an athlete, regardless if you play at the recreational level or professional level. Hateful people will always find a way to comment and say something emulating the statement, “Women can’t play real sports,” or “Women sports are so incredibly boring.”
Why these people feel the need to put other people, including professionals, down is beyond me.
Not only this, but the people who are laying out these untrue comments are the people who could never play as well as a girl. Professional male athletes, for example Steph Curry, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are among the many allies who try to bring awareness to women’s rights and women’s sports.
People who actually love the sport will support it no matter what.
While socially, there is so much activism that people could participate in to bring awareness to the importance of women in sports, there is also a system set in place at numerous organizations which prioritize men’s sports over women’s sports.
Most infamously, the US Soccer organization did not equally pay their men and women soccer teams, giving the former a higher paycheck per player. The women filed a lawsuit against the organization for violating the Equal Pay Act, in which the principle is “Equal Pay for equal work.” The pursuit to gain equal pay is still underway for the USWNT.
Additionally, another barrier preventing women’s sports from being seen as equal to men is the amount of sponsorships each gets from outside organizations. Men’s sports are being publicized, sponsored, and advertised left and right. It is the fact that women must create their own accounts to finally be appreciated: ESPNW, Just Women Sports, and Women’s Sports Foundation.
Hopefully, one day, women will not face so many obstacles and discouragement in the sports world. Athletes, no matter what age or size, deserve to have a female role model breaking barriers in the sports world.