A couple of weeks ago I was invited to join in on a neighborhood game of tackle
football. It was myself and five boys from the subdivision playing down and dirty in the backyard filled with wet grass and mud. One by one the boys fell as I knocked them to the ground on my way for a touchdown. One by one they stood back up with a look of disbelief in their eyes. There was a sound of laughter as the father of one of the boys was making comments to his son about having a girl take him down so easily. The look of amazement on their faces is what leads me to my belief that girls are not thought of as equals in the world of sports.
As little kids in our four to five year old age groups we are all treated equally and put into co-ed teams whether it be soccer or baseball. However, it doesn’t take much time to change all of that. By the time we are the ages of ten to twelve the leagues are divided. In soccer, girls play against girls. Baseball is for boys, and softball is for girls. And football is only for boys while girls are supposed to be cheerleaders on the sidelines. Girls have their own basketball teams and don’t even think about letting them compete equally in golf, they even put their tees closer to the hole like we are incapable of hitting the golf ball as hard as the boys.
By the time kids enter into high school the lines are clearly drawn. Girl’s are not allowed to try out for boys teams, yet boys can become cheerleaders. It seems that attendance is better at the boys sports events too. After doing some looking online I found that more sports scholarships are given to male athletes and the amount of money given in those scholarships is more than the female athletes.
Professional sports are no different. In the professional leagues the men’s leagues are longer than the ladies leagues. For example, in the NBA there are eighty-two games a year, while in the WNBA there are only fifty-two. I don’t think that is fair. An average player in the WNBA may make around five thousand dollars a game while the male in the NBA can make 20 times that, and what about the endorsements? Commercials are filled with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, where is Cheryl Miller (the highly under rated and under paid sister of Indiana Pacer player Reggie Miller)?
Lately some women have been breaking the barriers in the “men’s” world of sports. Women like Danica Patrick who races Indy cars and golfers like Michelle Wie putting the idea of women in the Master’s. Hopefully these types of athletes will grow in numbers and show the world that women are just as strong, talented, and competitive in the world of sports as men.
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