By: Malik Carey
A’ja Wilson, Danica Patrick, Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart and Sydney Leroux. These are just a few names of women who are superstars in their own professional sports. Even though these women are highly decorated athletes amongst their teams and sports, the fact that they’re women makes them get overlooked. Women are often highly disrespected in sports from the high school level all the way to the professional level. For example, a boys high school varsity game will be packed to capacity while the girls game will be so silent that one can hear a pin drop. One may ask, why? It is due to the nature in which women in sports are disrespected. Women deserve to be treated with respect not only in sports, but in life as well. The world is missing out on how great women’s games are because of the natural stereotype, “women can’t play sports”.
“Get back in the kitchen”, “The professional sandwich makers”, “WNBA games are one big kitchen show”, these are all comments from Instagram and Twitter about WNBA games. It is very disrespectful and derogatory as these games provide competitive and great competition. Softball in the United States has a professional level however, no one knows about this nor does it seem like anyone cares. The Women’s National Soccer League only has nine teams and is nowhere near as large as the MLS. Women are not respected in the United States at all in sports. Not only do people show their lack of support, but the WNBA profession is highly underpaid. For example, the average WNBA salary in 2017 was only $71,635. For the extensive amount of traveling, damage to the human body, being away from family and all the hard work put in for that average salary is not enough. NBA players make millions of dollars to play the same exact game but because they’re men, people tune in more and pay more. If the NBA and it’s team owners would actually take the time to fund the WNBA more, we would see more competitive salaries for these amazing athletes. Many WNBA athletes play their off-season overseas and tend to make a lot more money doing so. This is horrific to even think about because an American woman should not have to travel to another country to make more money playing the game she loves. She should be able to do so in the United States of America.
Women take the same path as men in terms of the work and effort put in to be successful in their respective sports. Basketball, soccer, softball, lacrosse, field hockey and tennis women athletes all have to grind very hard to get to the top just like a man would have to. Somehow, some way, it seems as if none of this matters to the United States. We need to respect women sports at each and every level. These women are phenomenal athletes and their games, talents, abilities and passion deserve to be respected beyond “the kitchen”.