Where’s the love for women athletes?

Justin Davis, Sports Reporter

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Justin Davis

Sports reporter

As a member of the men’s basketball team at school, I am no stranger to full stands. Whether in the Icardo Center or when we compete in away arenas, the energy is always electric. In college or professional sports there is one common theme: The men’s side of athletics receives more attention and respect than the women’s. From the lack of supporters in the stands, to the “trolls” on social media accounts discrediting their accolades, women get the short end of the stick.

Just like men, women who make it to play college athletics or even become professionals are at the top of their specific sport.

So this begs the question: Why don’t women get as much love as the men?

When it comes to money, men and women aren’t even close, especially if you play a team sport.

“The top WNBA salary was $117,500 last season, compared with $37.4 million in the NBA. The team salary cap for the National Pro Fastpitch softball league is $175,000; the Boston Red Sox will split $227 million in 2019,” writes sports writer for Forbes Olivia Abrams in her article titled “Why Female Athletes Earn Less than Men Across Most Sports.”

It is common knowledge that the revenues don’t match when there is a comparison between men’s and women’s professional leagues. However, the way the women’s leagues are using the money is something that needs improvement. While men are flying on private planes, women are catching “red eye” flights and sitting in economy. As a 6’5” human being, I understand the frustration with that completely.

There is also a sense that men just don’t care to watch women play sports. In her article “Why do fans ignore women‘s pro sports?“ Shira Springer of the Boston Globe writes, “It’s a familiar sight, with female preteens and teenagers often the default fan for women’s professional teams.” It is the same sight at the collegiate level, with most of the crowd consisting of the band, family members, and young girls that dragged their parents to the game because they look up to the women who are competing.

Women also have trouble with people, most of them being males who lack any athleticism, discrediting their abilities. For example, Liz Cambage, a member of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, had to confront a man on Twitter who questioned her athletic ability in a picture she posted.

Aryana Harvey, a redshirt senior forward for CSUB Women’s Soccer, said seeing female athletes is intimidating to some men.

“Long ago [men] created these standards and expectations that all females are supposed to be girly, cook, clean, and be housewives,” Harvey said. “But that changed a long time ago, and I really do think that scares some men out there.”

I urge men, as well as women, who do not play sports to become more supportive and understanding of what these athletes go through, because it is not easy. As someone who loves all types of sports, I can tell you that if you are only watching men’s athletics, you are missing out on passionate athletes who, in my opinion, are more skilled than most of the men playing the exact same sport. The “Women can’t dunk. Women aren’t as fast and athletic” argument is tired and should be flushed out of everyone’s minds.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Go watch for yourself.