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Why aren’t female sports teams as popular as male sports teams? (Op-Ed)

The coverage is nonstop whenever it’s time for the NFL, NBA, MLB, or any other big sports event fully comprised of males. Fans plan for months in advance and it’s just like a holiday. Even those who aren’t sports fans know when these games are happening.

For women’s sports, though, there is hardly any recognition. Even in this now “woke” world, bias, albeit unintentional, persists. While women have come a long way in sports, having soccer, basketball, hockey, and football leagues, for example, more interest is shown toward the male teams fans know and love.  While this might seem sexist, a look into history explains it pretty easily.

Originally, sports were considered a predominantly “male” activity, with women participating in more feminine activities. It was only during the nineties, according to Georgia State University, that women’s athletics clubs began to appear. Even then, gender bias was still shown, with sports available to women being mainly croquet, archery, and badminton, not the rough-and-tumble games male teams often played.

Teams such as the Yankees and the Giants have been active for decades. During this time, they built a loyal following and legacy. It is almost guaranteed that there will always be fans for the most famous teams out there. As a result, many media outlets will promote and advertise the big sports games featuring beloved teams. It’s a way to garner views and, as a result, money.

Women’s teams, meanwhile, have been around for a much shorter period. Unable to build a similar following or legacy as their male counterparts, there is less reason for the media to cover them. Even the bigger women’s events, like gymnastics, don’t get the same coverage, most probably because the same amount of merchandise can’t be bought off a little-known gymnastics team as a well-known football team.

Overall, which teams get coverage and popularity depends on who excites the fans more. The most popular teams being male isn’t sexism. Rather, it showcases just how strong American traditions are. New teams, especially with gender differences, can’t jump headfirst into the sports world. It takes time and effort for a team to build a following and a legacy. Hopefully, we’ll see that journey play out for female teams.

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