Best of Freshman Writing
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PSU – DuBois
A Case for Equal Media Coverage for Women’s Sports
Women are completely overshadowed by men in sports. This starts at a young age. The Little League World Series of baseball, played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is featured every year on several sports networks during the time of the tournament. Throughout the competition, at least two games every day are shown on TV. Even before the official tournament starts in Williamsport, the regional championship games are televised. These are the teams that haven’t yet made it to Williamsport, but are one win away. On the other hand, the Little League World Series of softball, played in Portland, Oregon, is shown on sports networks for the championship game alone; no other games are televised. These incredibly talented girls should be allowed to get their “15 minutes of fame” just as the boys do. Being on TV for just the championship game is not fair. This unfairness also carries over into professional athletics as well.
From a young age to adulthood, women rarely get their time to shine in sports. Professional leagues include the Women’s National Basketball Association. Every once in a while, there will be a WNBA game on a sports channel. This occurs about once every three weeks during the season. However, the National Basketball Association for men’s basketball is documented several times a week for its games. This is unfair to the public who want to see their favorite women basketball players in action. Many teenage girls look up to the superstars of the WNBA, and these girls are being hindered from watching their heroes. Many girls discover their favorite women athletes in watching their idols at the collegiate level and want to follow them at the professional level. These women include Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, and Maya Moore. When women athletes are barely publicized, it is hard for young fans to track their preferred players. Even in the highlight reels of sports, women are infrequently shown for their athletic talents.
Several sports programs show segments on incredible plays and 95 percent of the time, men are showcased for their unbelievable plays. Very seldom is there a highlight of a woman performing something breath-taking. The “Top 10 Plays” portion of Sportscenter is a clear example of this. Every day, the top plays of the day before are documented in this portion of the show. Hardly ever is there a woman shown; it is strictly all men. Women make just as spectacular plays as men. Certain plays include Venus Williams on the tennis court, Abby Wambach on the soccer field, and Andrea Duran on the softball field. Unfortunately, they hardly ever get a chance to be recognized for their accomplishments.
As stated above, one can see that women are particularly neglected when it comes to sports. This overlooking ranges from a young age, at the Little League World Series of softball, to professional athletics, in the WNBA, to highlight reels, such as the “Top 10 Plays” on Sportscenter. I am not asking that all media be directed at women. I am just suggesting that more women’s athletics be shown on TV for sporting events. These female athletes have worked too hard to be ignored so easily. It is not reasonable that an event as big as Lisa Leslie’s dunk be second rate to a man. Furthermore, young people, especially girls, should be able to turn on the television at night and be able to watch their idol doing the thing that their heart lives for: playing the sport they love.
Kyley Mickle's essay appears here with her express written permission and cannot be reproduced in any manner or fashion without her express written permission.