A Push For Gender Equality Both on and off the Court

Gabriel Heater, Sports Editor

The push for gender equality has been a hot topic coming from recent years as the movement to bring equality for women is at its strongest. Despite the progression, the feminist movement has contributed thus far, there are still areas when women lack the representation they deserve in their field of work. The realm of sports has shown a lack of female representation as lines of work surrounding sports and sports culture have been predominantly run by men. While some women have found successful careers as interviewers, sports analysts, journalists, and sports commentators; there is still a wide gap that needs to be fixed before equality can be present in the line of work surrounding sports.

When you think of sports such as the NBA, NFL, or MLB you rarely hear about women and their roles surrounding the sports culture as there has been a system that has been placed in which men have dominated in this field. Coaches, referees, commentators, sports analysis, and journalists over the years have had a significant imbalance of women in this field. Though there are some appearances of female coaches, referees, and other fields in sports being occupied by women recently, women still lack representation in the sports field.

While some may argue that there are fewer women involved with fields surrounding sports due to their disinterest in sports, this misconception couldn’t be any farther from the truth. No matter who you are, what part of the world you live in, or that gender you are there are people who fall in love with sports. Regardless of these societal barriers, we have put in place throughout history that has, unfortunately, become societal norms in the field of contemporary sports. Many women have fallen in love with sports and want to get involved, but unfortunately, many of them fail to reach their goals of getting involved strictly based on their gender.

If you look at the recent past sports companies such as Sports Illustrated have started to include women in the field of sports, though for the wrong reasons. When women started to appear in sports illustrated in the mid to late 1900s, it felt as if they included women just for the sake of creating gender diversity in the work field just to raise media attention. For several decades journalistic companies would seemingly add women who weren’t even interested in the sports culture, as most of the time they only used them as a beautiful figure to create clickbait for their works. 

However, as time has passed on the sports scene for women has gradually improved though not to the extent that we strive for it to be. 

Doris Burke, a female sports announcer has been the face of inspiration when it came to the representation of women revolving around the sports culture. Like many other people who are involved with sports journalism, she fell in love with sports as she began her journey playing basketball. Known for being a talented point guard in college, she took her sports career to the next level as she would soon use her passion and knowledge of the game to work closely with the NBA on popular sports channels such as ESPN. Despite the adversity, she has to overcome to get in this position as a woman in the world of sports journalism, she has become the face of inspiration for all women across the world who aspire to work in her field. 

Recently, more and more women have been seen to be involved in sports taking on bigger roles in such sports as the NBA. Beckey Hammon is another source of inspiration for women who aspire to be involved in the sports culture. Hammon has similar origins to Doris Burke; she too played basketball growing up. However, Hammon did not end up becoming a sports announcer but made the history of becoming the first woman to lead an NBA team in the regular season; she has taken the role of assistant head coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Up till now a female coach in the NBA has been unheard of which further creates an emphasis on the importance of breaking down this misogynistic system so that females can be represented in not only sports journalism but in sports in general. 

While the realm of sports has seen its progression in implementing women in the sports culture, there is still a long road ahead in ensuring that women get the representation they deserve. As both Burke and Hammon have achieved prominent goals as women, we should push for this occurrence to be normalized, instead of an uncommon occurrence that alone emphasizes the inequality in sports journalism. Unless further action is taken the system of inequality will remain. Reform must occur if we wish to normalize women in the field of sports.