“Hey, are you going to the basketball game on Friday?” “Is it a boys game?” “No, it’s a girls game.” “Then no, I’m not going.”
As a female high school athlete I know this conversation all to well. Despite the effort, women’s sports, at all levels, are underpaid, under-exposed, and under-appreciated.
Steps have been taken to better the chasm between men and womens athletics, however it is not enough and we must do more.
The average salary for a WNBA player is $72,000, while the average salary for an NBA player is around $5 million, or about 70 times what the average female basketball player makes. The job is the same, play basketball and win games.
We have these predisposed gender roles deeming aggressive sports as masculine sports and non-contact sports, feminine sports. Due to some old-timed mindset, the media still crushes the equality many are trying to reach in the world of sports.
Reports show that women receive less overall coverage and are deemed as “girls” while men are portrayed as “strong and powerful.”
Now, why is that? Maybe because 95% of anchors, co-anchors, and analysts are male. Or perhaps that 90.1% of sports print editors are male.
I am not saying that all these men are the reason that women are receiving less exposure than their male complement.
Everyone has heard the name Kobe Bryant, but most likely have not heard the name Diana Taurasi.
They’re each virtual locks for All-NBA/WNBA teams every year and on the shortlist for MVP and Finals MVP. Both of which are no stranger to winning big – five NBA titles for Kobe and two WNBA titles for Diana, to go along with Taurasi’s slew of international titles in the Euroleague and Russian leagues.
Now, I can write this article and some will read it and others will see the title and roll their eyes. But, this disrespect has gone on for too long and steps need to be taken to give the women of today a chance at a better tomorrow.
It starts with us. The steps need to begin now to ensure that those girls get the recognition they deserve when their time comes. We must break the cycle and end the unfairness.