This semester, each of the systemic injustices post I had, meant something to me deeply. I have always said if I am going to write about something no matter what it is for, I am going to write about it with purpose and meaning behind it. Two of my topics were closely related from the systemic injustices I wrote about. My fourth systemic injustice I wrote about was the inequality in several aspects of collegiate sports, rather it was on gender or race varying from sport to sport. The sixth systemic injustice I wrote about was something that went viral during March Madness, and that was the weight room difference between the women basketball players and the men basketball players, with the men having a much more extravagant gym to work out in. The two topics are very closely related, not just because they are both topics of collegiate athletics, but it shows an introduction to a bunch of people what they might be in store for in the adult world. It is not right, we all deserve equal chances, and now we will dive into that.
This image was the actual difference between the women’s and men’s weight room, guess which one is which, I bet it won’t be hard to figure which one is which. In case it is, the one on the left is the women’s and the one on the right is the men’s weight rooms for the March Madness tournament. Now there are obviously two different sides to this, one for why the gym’s are like this and why they should be, and the other being they understand why the gym’s are that way but that does not mean it is right. People argue it is that way because of how much money the men bring in for their sport, and how little money women bring in for their sport. There is an astronomical difference between the two revenues brought in between the two. Which is a reasonable argument for the treatment to be so different. That does not mean it is right. Both the men and women work really hard, the women do not get as much recognition or national attention as the men. The thing is, the thing many people preach nowadays, especially the NCAA, they say they try to make everything right, when anything comes up with gender in their sports Title IX comes up right away, and that is how they say they are making things more even. To bring the girls more attention, they could potentially take some of the extra funds the men programs bring in and put it towards the women, it can help them get more equipment and allow them to train to the same capacity. Like stated though, there is the argument that the women teams did not earn that money, but why didn’t they, because, they did not get the national recognition? That is not a good reason, they work just as hard as the men, and they deserve to be treated fairly for it.
Even in the most recent March Madness there were games in the women’s tournament that were just as if not more entertaining than majority of the men’s games. The women are starting to get more recognition I believe, but nothing to show for it, yet. Hopefully the time comes soon, the only thing we can as fans of the game, is to support and make sure our opinions are heard. A big star that is doing something with that is Megan Rapinoe, a women soccer player for the United States. She is very vocal about the income difference between the women and men, and it has got a lot of national attention, which is great for everyone. Rapinoe is so vocal about it because of the accolades she and the American team has achieved, while the men’s players are payed substantially more, but have no where near the achievements the women’s team does. It is sad to see how the world does work like this, but it is just the way it goes, hopefully to change soon.
The other topic I talked about, very similar, but it is a little more general of the topic, but it still helps get the point across, maybe even more across. I found an article online that I found very interesting, the article can be found here (https://i-sight.com/resources/discrimination-in-sports-5-types-25-solutions/#Gender). The article even dives into talking about playing time, how people get treated at each position, rather it is a player, an assistant coach, a head coach, and even the athletic director. It also talks about the general revenue that is brought in between the two genders in collegiate sports. The article also brings up race in several of the collegiate sports, and you really do not find an even distribution of race between any two sports, there are obviously some closer than others. There are sports like tennis, water polo, golf, and rowing, where it is dominated by white people, with other races obviously being there but not a large or even significant number of them. The sports that get majority attention are dominated by African Americans, there is no extra incentive in it for them, but people could argue without African Americans, the NCAA loses almost all of its revenue and profit. It is also matching that no one gets extra revenue for what they bring in, the NCAA is known as one of the more evil and selfish companies, abusing kids basically while they do not get much gain out of it, while the NCAA gets everything out of it.
This article goes into detail about how maybe we can help with each different type of discrepancy that people are facing because of how they are different, we are going to go over a few of those. Something we can do just as fans, is support the women’s and girls’ sports, realize the work they put in and they deserve to be appreciated. People may not find the sport entertaining but it does mean it deserves to be treated as less. Something schools or front offices can do, is hire more women in power, to be leaders in the office or out on the field or court. By doing that it shows how much similar women can do work as men do. It is going to be a process, but it is a process that is well worth it. Another big system injustice that is faced in all sports is racial discrimination. Some solutions the article talks about is, writing a zero tolerance racism policy, focus on inclusion, do not make assumptions and support athletes when they use their right of free speech. To go one by one, a zero tolerance policy, forces franchises and or schools to allow every athlete or person that is involved with sports at all to have an even chance as the next person working for it, they have to earn it fairly. If we focus on inclusion, things start to blend, to mix and match, we see people all as one, the way it should be and hopefully we can get there one day, sooner than later. By not making assumptions about the athlete based off their race, it allows us to see anyone be able to do anything in any sport. Over the last few years, more and more athletes voice their opinion, and there is always an uproar right after it seems, because they should just “shut up and dribble”, it is disgusting to think their opinions are less valuable than others because they are athletes, everyone has the right to speak their opinion, but some are lucky enough to have a big enough platform for it to matter more.
Something that we talked about over our semester, that is connected to these topics, is implicit bias. We had an excerpt from Jake Fortney, with help explaining Implicit bias. There is a quote from his statement that is, “Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner”. I would explain this quote as people act without really thinking, and that is very true in all levels of sports today and through out history. If we listened to this quote more in sports today, we would be much farther in many aspects of many of the games. If we thought about things more, we could sit here and realize that women deserve equal treatment because of all their hard work and the entertainment factor of their games could be just as entertaining if not more entertaining than the men’s games. People of all races could get treated more equally out of high school sports heading into college sports, people of different genders could get treated more equal, and people of different backgrounds could get treated equally as well, it is 2021 and we need to get to this point sooner than later, before things start to get bad. It is the last thing we need in the world we live in today with everything that is going on. Sports should bring people together, it is what sports has done in the past on many big events like 9/11 and the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, hopefully it can do it again here soon, in a big way
Thanks for reading my column,