Written and Media by Jen Brakenhoff
Ever since sports have been televised, women seem to be the second priority in both the eyes of the media and the public. We see how the majority of media coverage is on men’s sports, but this past summer proved that women’s sports are worth the media’s time.
The US Women’s soccer team came back from the 2011 World Cup championship game loss to Japan with a different perspective. They were ready to show everyone that they weren’t messing around. They took it to the previous champions, Japan, and won this past summer’s World Cup championship game 5-2 reclaiming what they had lost. Three of the goals in the championship game came from Carli Lloyd. Overall she had six goals and one assist throughout the tournament. Carli Lloyd was definitely prepared for this World Cup and gave it her all.
According to Fox network, the U.S Women’s World Cup broke the record for the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history. This included men’s soccer. The total was 25.4 million viewers. This shows that women’s sports can be just as exciting as men’s. So many care only for men’s sports because that is what they have watched their entire life. Women’s sports have not been on the front page or televised as often which has caused our society to think women’s sports do not matter as much. The U.S. Women Soccer team also won “Best Team ”in the 2015 ESPY’s.
We have become satisfied and content with how women’s sports are often in the background but that does not make it necessarily correct. This past summer has shown that women’s sports is ready to be in the spotlight. They have been such a powerful influence and have had such a substantial impact on the entire nation with the way they have played. The U.S. Women’s soccer team has taken that step of showing how women’s sports can be just as entertaining as men’s sports. The amount of fans that tuned in to witness the women’s soccer team take the World Cup win brings an expectation to see more women’s sports.
Although there has been some progress in women’s sports and media coverage, there still is sexism in sport. An example of this is in the WNBA. An article from Huffington Post called, “WNBA Player Reads Mean Tweets, Proves Sexism Is Alive and Well,” shows Delle Donne, a Chicago Sky athlete, getting so many put downs from people all over the country. Twitter users used hateful speech, degrading the WNBA and basically said that it shouldn’t exist. One said that a women’s place is “in the kitchen” and that they would rather “watch paint dry.” This is just one example of how sexism is still an issue in this world. With all of the accomplishments that women’s sports have made this year there should be more recognition and appreciation to women athletics. Sexism is an issue that will take time to resolve.
Though things have been shaky in the past, progress is being made, slowly but surely. The NBA has hired the first two female assistant coaches this past year. The Kings hired Nancy Lieberman as their assistant coach, while the Spurs hired Becky Hammond as the head coach for their summer league. While the NBA hired two women coaches, the NFL hired their first female assistant. The Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as their first female assistant coach for their indoor football league. Though we still have issues with women in sports, there is a bright future ahead for women athletics.
The U.S. Women’s National team was the summer’s highlight and took a big step to a bright future for women’s sports and we are excited to see how much the fan base will grow for women’s sports in the near future. We are also excited to see how women will become more involved in coaching positions for women’s and men’s teams. This is only the beginning of what is to come from the women’s side of athletics. This summer gave us hope in the future of women’s sports.