Some would say that sports are the center of our entertainment, the center of our society.
But I want to ask you, when I ask you to think of a sport, what comes to mind? Football, basketball, baseball?
What about the best athletes? Payton Manning, Lebron James, Jackie Robinson?
Where in that do the women come in?
Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Alex Morgan.
Would you have even thought about them if I hadn’t mentioned their names?
On many levels, there is a gap in gender and sports.
Especially in those male dominated sports.
Sports where men have traditionally been the only ones participating. But now, times are changing. Women want to participate. They want to compete. And they want to be seen doing so.
I will say that yes, women’s sports are still new in comparison, and that can account for that gap, but often times, the governing body is another reason; if not the biggest reason.
The NCAA is the governing body of all college athletics, and it contributes to a huge gap in the inequality of coverage, promotion, and popularity of women’s sports.
Take basketball for example…
The NCAA hypes up mens basketball considerably more than it does women’s basketball. The National tournament is the height of the entire basketball season for both genders, however, it is more highly publicized on the mens side.
“March Madness”. It is probably one of the most talked about sporting events in all of college sports, but yet do you ever hear about the women’s tournament? Perhaps occasionally, but nowhere near on the same level.
So what about us?
What do we have to do to get our competitions seen?
We need to keep competing, keep working hard, and keep fighting for equality in sport.
Maybe one day the NCAA will take notice and level the playing field. Maybe they will give women’s sports the publicity it needs to continue to grow.
However on the contrary, there are some governing bodies have done a good job at trying to create equality.
The governing body of sports in California; California Interscholastic Federation or CIF has done just that. In an effort to be forward thinking and in response to the rapid growth of women’s wrestling, the CIF sanctioned the men’s and women’s state meet to be on the same day, in the same venue, with the same fans, awards and publicity that comes with this prestigious tournament. The CIF has also done this for basketball, track and field, and many other sports.
So it can be done.
Now why isn’t the NCAA doing this? Perhaps it all comes down to money? Maybe it’s in the works? Only time will tell.
Until then, we need to keep fighting to bridge the gap.