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Photo Credit: The Sports Bra

Restaurant showing only women’s sports paves the way for diversity in sports bars. (Op-Ed)

The Sports Bra in Portland, Oregon is more than just your average sports bar, it’s a place where fans of all genders and sexualities are welcome to grab a beer and watch women’s sports. This sports bar is an inclusive space that only plays women’s sports on their televisions, encouraging the advancement of all female sports leagues. Head to your local sports bar and what do you see? Do you see the NBA, NBA, NHL, and other men’s leagues continuously played on loop? Most definitely. Have you ever seen a women’s league proudly displayed? Probably not, or perhaps just once or twice. Founder and CEO Jenny Nguyen is intent on flipping the status quo, and her sports bar has been extremely lucrative; the 41-year-old brought in $1 million in the first 8 months.

Nguyen started The Sports Bra from scratch, investing her own money and relying on donors from Kickstarter to open the bar. Without any model to base a women’s sports-only bar, she found the blank state “liberating.” Nguyen said “When there’s no blueprint and you’re able to write your own plan, you can make mistakes … The opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them, it becomes kind of freeing.” She wasn’t sure if the bar would succeed, and she had no idea how long she could stay open. Luckily, her dedication to inclusivity and diversity, and proudly stating that The Sports Bra is for everyone, led to a massive success ‑ so much so that she is expanding nationwide. Her motto? “The only competition is the status quo.”

The Sports Bra will expand in partnership with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s organization — 776 Foundation — which has a two-year youth program for young people wanting to build a better future. “At Seven Seven Six, we’re enthusiastic about the incredible advancement in women’s sports,” Ohanian said in a press release, “Our foundation is proud to back The Sports Bra, which is a welcoming place for everyone to celebrate these athletes’ feats. 100% of the returns from this investment will be donated to advance future generations of women athletes.”

“I had no idea the impact it would have on so many so quickly. Now I can see we’re just getting started,” Nguyen said in a press release, “With the support of Alexis and 776, we plan to bring The Bra to cities across the country and beyond and continue to invest in our mission.”

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