Female athletes deserve equal recognition

Through broadcasted interviews, media coverage, athlete marketing and general speculation, there is an undeniable division between the reception of male and female sports.

On the global stage, men seem to constantly be stealing the spotlight while female athletes are often overlooked and disregarded in the roaring thunder of competitive sport.

Does this divide derive from gender generalizations? Does it come from a marketing appeal? Or is the world’s overarching interest for male athletes a mere result of overpowering performance?

At Wilfrid Laurier University, we too have an unbalanced appreciation for male and female sports.

When it comes to selling out University Stadium on Homecoming or stacking the stands during basketball games, men’s teams tend to be the go-to.

As a media organization, we too are guilty of supplying more coverage to male teams than their female counterparts.

But this truth does not pay tribute to the incredible efforts of the women athletes and their honourable success as Golden Hawks.

Year after year at Laurier, women’s teams rapidly excel, often more so than their male counterparts. Women’s basketball was nationally ranked last season for their exceptional performance while women’s hockey and women’s soccer have been consistent contenders at the national level.

The list of accomplishments goes on.

Female athletes continue to perform above standards at all levels — beyond the scope of our university — but they are being under-appreciated with minimal audiences and media attention.

Considering men’s hockey can barely make it into the playoffs, men’s basketball’s lack of defence often prevents them from making it out of the round robin and consistent disappointments on the gridiron, field and court, recognition has not always given where it is due.

One gender is not “better at sports” than the other. But this one-sided attention creates an uneven playing field that needs to be changed.

The global stage should make changes that can be replicated at the university level and proper appreciation for all genders and all athletes should be given. Gender shouldn’t be a barrier to observing excellence.

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