Sports are gender-neutral

Megan Maher

Being a sports studies minor, I expected the sports studies classes to be filled with a bunch of guys and athletes. But what I didn’t expect was that most of the classes are actually full of girls. Now you might be thinking that we are all in the class to meet guys, but the more classes I attend, the more I realize girls, including me, know about sports too.

Everyone knows that ever since the creation of professional sports, men have always been at the top of their game. They are the players, the coaches, the announcers, even the reporters, but over the years things began to change when women began to enter the scene. If you have ever taken Sports Studies 101 then you’d know all about both male and female star athletes throughout history and women have always struggled to gain acceptance into the sports world.

More and more women are becoming reporters, coaches, producers, photographers, or any number of possibilities within a world seemingly dominated by men. In the 1970’s having a woman as a sports reporter was almost unheard of, however; as of 2008, women make up 9 percent of all American sports reporters. It may seem small, but its a huge improvement compared to 40 years ago.

When people hear about reporters Erin Andrews or Hannah Storm, they may seem like just pretty faces. But these reporters have to have a knowledge of the sport they are reporting; they need to know the statistics, the rules, and the players behind the game.

As a photographer, I need to know where to look to get the perfect shot. Coaches need the perfect strategy to win the game, and producers like Molly Solomon, the first female to produce a sports show on a national sports channel, needs to know the game to get the best ratings. As for the fans, well there are other ways to choose a team besides their uniforms or hot players.

The numbers may be small, but women have gained a lot of power within the sports world. Title IX has given females the opportunity to play any sport they want. Schools have begun teaching classes on sports. The number of female students in these classes is continually rising. Sports reporters have started using women who are more than just a pretty face. A demographic study on women in sports hasn’t been done in a few years, but the numbers are probably a lot higher than you’d expect.

So, have I broken the stereotype yet?