8 instances of Sexism in sports

25 Jun, 2022 12:47 IST|Sakshi Post

BY DEVRAJ BOLLAREDDY

There is a degree of sexism in every industry, at some point we all must have been witness to sexism taking place in front of our very eyes. Some feel that out of all the industries, the sports industry is one such industry where sexism is the most prevalent. Let’s look at some of the most unacceptable moments under the lens of sexism in the sports industry.

1. John McRoe’s comments on Serena Williams

Serena Williams may be the greatest female tennis player of all time but even she has experienced a fair share of sexism throughout her career. One such instance was when John McRoe made sexist comments towards Serena Williams, he said that if Serena Williams were to play against men, she would not even crack the top 700, disregarding her accomplishments in tennis.

2. U.S women soccer pay gap

In 2016, The American women’s soccer national team filed a complaint to the Equal Federal Employment Opportunity Commission. Turns out that they were being paid 40% lesser than the men despite performing better than the men’s team.

3. NBC blames women for commercials during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

 When viewers complained that there were too many commercials during the 2016 Rio Olympics, the NBC Olympics chief marketing officer responded by blaming women. Although many may consider this as not sexism, this comment stems from a stereotype surrounding women that all they want to do is shop. If the NBC chief marketing officer simply blamed corporate greed and not women, maybe NBC could have avoided a lot of backlash.

4. Women not originally being allowed to run in the Boston Marathon

The Boston marathon is famously the oldest marathon in the United States. However, most might be surprised to find out that women were not allowed to run the marathon originally. 1972 was the first year women were allowed to participate in the marathon, but before that, Kathrine Switzer managed to enter the marathon by registering under the name of K.V., in a popular picture from that year’s marathon, you can see men trying to push Switzer off of the running track.

5. The constant harassment of female reporters

Female athletes are not the only ones in the sports industry that face sexism, you would be surprised to find out that even female news reporters bore a fair share of sexism. As Sports Illustrated reports, female sports reporters often face sexual harassment from agents, players, coaches and even get flashed in the locker room at times.

6. Artificial turf being used for the Women’s World Cup

Some may think that this issue is not the deep however, women were forced to play on artificial throughout the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. It is harder to control the ball on synthetic surfaces such as artificial turf and the surface is usually hard on players, leading to more injuries because of the lack of grip that a real turf may offer.

7. Katie Ledecky being compared to Michael Phelps

It may be interesting to note that every time a female excels in her field, she is inevitably compared to a male in the same field; this is exactly what happened to Katie Ledecky during the 2016 Olympics. Despite taking home 4 gold medals, she was constantly compared to or overshadowed by Michael Phelps.

8. Ada Hegerberg was asked if she knew how to twerk

In 2018, Ada Hegerberg became the first female recipient of the Ballon d’Or award, it is globally considered to be one of the highest honors any soccer player can receive. Things got extremely awkward when the award ceremony host, Martin Solveig asked Hegerberg if she knew how to twerk. The 23-year-old athlete said ‘no’ and attempted to leave the stage, before hesitating and returning back to the stage for another dance. Solveig tweeted shortly after the ceremony, apologizing for his comments.

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