‘Give women in sport the respect they deserve’ by Jess Sadler

women in sport

Everyone who steps onto a football pitch, basketball court or tennis court should all have an equal opportunity to excel and shouldn’t be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. But unfortunately, this kind of discrimination still happens.

When I was younger I was always made to believe that women aren’t as strong or athlectic as men, which lead me to believe there was no hope for succeeding at the sport I had passion for. As I grew older I decided to ignore these stereotypes and join a basketball team, which I fell in love with. This passion lead me to play with the boys It’s safe to say you have to fight for your respect as a player and to simply be a part of the team – which of course isn’t fair. I often felt that I had no part in the sport. When a boy on the team made a mistake it wasn’t discussed or acknowledged – but when a girl does then they are perceived as a bad player and having let the team down.

Recently there have been many female sporting successes, such as the Lionesses bringing the World Cup home; but these have not been praised or celebrated as much as the men’s sport has, which clearly shows a lack of respect.

Diminishing women’s sport is unfair and heavily sexist. Stereotypes could make young girls and even women turn away a sport they want to do because is seen as ‘manly’. The most upsetting part is that millions of girls across the world feel restricted in the sport they want to do.

There have been multiple situations of constant sporting sexism. An example of this is Romona Pitzer, athlete, and a recent Tik Tok star who made a video implying Serena Williams could not be biologically female because of her athletic success. This is misogynistic and degrading.

Moving forward, how do we stop this? Firstly its important that a less stereotypical view of sport is embedded into young minds – everyone is equal and gender shouldn’t be a divide in sport! Instead of always talking up and playing male dominated sports in schools, we could also talk about female success to sow equality. Allowing girls to play whatever sport they want would also help move equality forward. Women involved in sport could also spread the message over social media that everyone has rights and encouraging all genders to participate.

Women are equally as capable, strong, successful and talented as boys and should be allowed equal opportunities and respect.