On Women in Sports

I’ve always loved fashion. Growing up, I used to carry around sketchbooks full of my designs and told everyone that I would be the next Coco Chanel. I studied my favorite designers, learned how to sew my own clothes and shared my passion with every person I met. Adults would smile at me and tell me my drawings were pretty- that I could be anything I wanted to be. My classmates knew I loved clothes and dubbed me ‘best dressed’. I was expected to adore fashion and no one ever questioned me about my knowledge. Four years ago I decided that I loved sports. I began to write about football games and players, researched play calling, watched as many basketball games as possible and became an obsessed fan. This time around, however, sharing my passion wasn’t so easy and it remains difficult to this day. While my parents, sister and grandparents are supportive of my dreams to work in football, many other people aren’t. Every time I add my two cents to a conversation about the Superbowl, which CFB teams should be in the top 4, why I supported the Cowboys this year or who the best NBA team is, I’m usually met with sighs, rolled eyes or questioned about my opinions. There’s no argument to it- it’s because I’m a girl. Now I’m not trying to make this a ‘feminist thing’, just simply sharing a struggle women in sports or women who enjoy sports deal with everyday. Sports are supposed to bring people together. They’re supposed to be a pastime where people can meet, eat food and watch exciting entertainment, but for some reason, they’re mainly targeted toward men. I was once eating lunch with a group of people I wasn’t familiar with and two men began talking about Baylor’s football team. When they questioned the name of a player, I stated the guy’s name and position. Quickly after I interjected, they asked me how I knew this and if I even watched football. On another occasion, I was watching the Packers-Lions game a few weeks ago and while I discussed my thoughts on the game with a male family friend, he rolled his eyes at me and said that my opinion wasn’t correct. These experiences are common for most women in sports. Their opinions are questioned, their answers are shut down and they’re told that their dreams are impossible. Football and men’s basketball may have been male dominated sports in the past and present, but there is hope for women in the future. Just because we’re not allowed to play the sports on a professional level doesn’t mean our thoughts or dreams are any less valid. Perhaps the next time you speak to a woman about America’s pastimes, you’ll listen to her opinions and have a thorough discussion without any eye rolls.