Women in national sports deserve better recognition

Publications such as Sports Illustrated have hundreds of staff members. However, scrolling through their masthead, it’s abundantly clear that a disparity remains in the ratio of men to women at large sports publications.  
You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman’s byline or opinion piece published on Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers debut or the 2019 NBA draft. 
This isn’t just a problem for female sports writers, either.
Women participate in and care about athletics too. It’s long past time for representation to reflect this—both in print and on the field. 
Though women have more than enough talent to participate in athletics, they’re still often underrepresented in professional sports. 
It’s apparent gender hinders female athlete’s influence in sport. There are women in the sports world breaking down barriers and achieving incredible success daily, but they’re still unable to crack the glass ceiling or escape the stigma attached to being both a woman and a professional athlete. 
Women have reached great athletic heights. Serena Williams has 23 US Grand Slam titles. Alex Morgan has scored 107 international goals for the National Women’s Soccer League. Women should be recognized for their contributions and feel the same sense of pride male athletes do. 
Female athletes have also proven to be talented coaches at the highest levels. Becky Hammon, a retired WNBA basketball player, is currently the assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Hammon has consistently proven her experience and skillset: she’s spent countless hours on the court in a professional and personal capacity.
Her success is obvious, only proving her knowledge of the game. She’s the first full-time female coach in the NBA, and in all four major professional sports in North America.
Women have the same ability as men to excel in competitive sports and are equally qualified as coaches. Gender isn’t something that precedes skill—a fact the professional sports community has yet to realize.  
Whether it’s sports analysis, coaching, or competing, women have a place in athletics at every level.
There’s no doubt the world has made strides in improving female representation in professional sports, but there’s still a long way to go. 
A lack of awareness pervades female contributions in the sports world. Large publications like Sports Illustrated and Inside Sports need to pay attention to the women making strides as much as they do to men. They need to engage in discussion about women in the field and the value of their talent. 
A woman can play, a woman can coach, and a woman can perform at every level of professional sports. 
Now, society just has to recognize the extent of their influence shaping the sports world. 
Alina is The Journal’s Assistant Sports Editor. She’s a fourth-year English major.

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