Thursday, April 26, 2007

Blog Post #3

The topic I am covering is Gender Issues in Sports. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for this blog thing; in all honesty I didn’t really know what a blog was until this course. I could not thing of a topic at all; I really didn’t think I could link this course and the blog to something I was interested in. Then, one day I was watching ESPN’s SportsCenter (something I do everyday), and there was a special on Tim Hardaway and his remarks regarding John Amaechi and homosexuals in general. At this point it all made sense to me and I would have to do something more than just read/hear about the stats and standings; I decided I would analyze sports and its gender issues.

One example as to why this is an important topic in popular culture, is the fact that there is a law regarding the inequality in sports. Title IX states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." This law prompted schools to have an equal amount of “male” and “female” sports.

Despite this law society itself has discriminated based on sex. During March madness the focus is on the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament; there was even two hours worth of coverage on the selection of the teams for the men’s tournament. After watching Sports Center I noticed that the scores of the women’s games were merely mentioned, but the analysis of the men’s game was so in depth.

Beyond the high school and collegiate game there is much more sexual discrimination. Quick… name three men’s professional leagues. (MLB, NBA, NFL, MLS, etc) Now do the same for women’s professional sports. WNBA… ??? I watch lots of sports and that’s the only women’s league I can think of off the top of my head. It is obvious that coverage is lacking in regards to these sports, but when looking at their salaries the disparity becomes even more egregious. The average NBA player makes 4 million dollars per year; the average WNBA salary is barely more than 1/100th of that at around 46,000 dollars. This means that some NBA players make more money playing in just one game, than most WNBA players make in one season. Clearly, there is a huge disparity that needs to be changed there.

I personally never really delved much deeper than SportsCenter took me. This course opened another side of sports to me, a side that unfortunately is an ugly side. Everyone thinks that sports are for entertainment, and some use it as an escape from the real world; in reality, sports are a microcosm of all the issues that are prevalent in our society today.


Jessie said...

Overall this is a well-written post that you have clearly made a case for your topic throughout. The connections you've made between issues of overt homophobia and sexism in women's sports, policy, and the salary disparities are quite on-target. The only two main issues were the lateness and the lack of citation of a reading from the course.

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