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The challenges of being a woman in sports


While there have been a lot of steps in the right direction for women being accepted into sports, there is still a lot of room for both improvement and change.

Sports journalism is an industry that needs to see more change as it is a male-dominated field. The majority of commentators, writers, and talk show hosts are males, and while there are some women in the field, they do not seem to have the same respect.

The fact that nine times out of 10, when a woman knows sports, it is surprising, shocking, or “great to see,” is a problem.

Especially considering that when it comes to men, it is expected for them to have a rounded knowledge of sports and never something that people second guess or feel the need to test.

While it is becoming more common to see women in sports, the same level of respect is not there.

A lot of people were excited when we finally started to see female officials in sports, but most of the time they are not seen calling the big games like the Super Bowl; they are only allowed the regular season games that do not have as much weight if a mistake is made.

Another bothersome thing is you rarely see female commentators for male-dominated sports such as the National Football League or National Basketball Association. They are usually seen as co-hosts on talk shows or as reporters on the sidelines who do halftime interviews. Why are women rarely the ones calling the game alongside the other professionals?

We do not talk enough about why men’s teams take priority over women sports. Everyone talks about the NBA game they watched the night before, but no one ever mentions the WNBA games that were on.

Another thing that women struggle within the sports industry is the wage gap. Many female athletes are competing at the same level, putting in the same amount of work, and working just as hard… but the difference in their contracts and pay checks is undeniable.

Athletes get paid a lot of money as it is, but the pay should be fair. The same goes for journalism. Commentators are awarded huge contracts for jobs in which women are not even considered. When there are multiple hosts of a show, the ones who have played the sport are instantly paid more, even if a woman has arguably the same amount, if not more, knowledge on the topic.

From the way the U.S women’s soccer team had to sue to receive equal pay comparable to the men’s team when the women have been more successful lately, is not something that should be taken lightly.

The fact that a court had to decide that the women were just as deserving because the league could not do so on their own says a lot to prove that while we have made progress, we have not done enough.

There is room for a lot of things to be changed in the sports industry so women are granted a more comfortable place for involvement in sports, both as athletes, reporters, and commentators. Women need to be able to feel just as welcomed as the men in the industry.

Emily Autumn Velasquez is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]


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About the Contributor
Emily Autumn Velasquez
Emily Autumn Velasquez, Editor-in-chief
Emily Autumn Velasquez is the Editor in Chief for the Prospector. She is a senior, majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in rhetoric writing at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is also a freelance photographer/videographer with hopes of continuing a career in sports journalism when she graduates in December.
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The challenges of being a woman in sports