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Opinion: Sports needs gender diversity

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The world of sports has been segregated for quite sometime. We have men’s and women’s basketball just as we have baseball and softball. Sports have always had a social stigma of male dominance and that is very prevalent by what is covered in the media. However, tides are beginning to turn as the National Football League this past week hired their first female official in history. Last year, Becky Hammon became the National Basketball Association’s first full-time female coach when she joined the San Antonio Spurs. Mo’ne Davis took over headlines last year as well, when she participated in the Little League World Series playing baseball alongside male peers. She was also extremely successful. She threw a fastball at a whopping 70 miles-per-hour and was the Associated Press’ female athlete of the year at just 14-years-old. How long will it be before sports become integrated for women? Hopefully not that much longer.

While society has been taking steps to integrate women more into male dominated sports, there needs to be more done to expedite this process. We all have heard the saying, “you throw like a girl,” but what kind of message are we sending when we have this common notion that one gender is inferior to the other. The sports world fails to fully integrate women because social phrases like these have been implemented in the back of most males mind’s from a young age. When a professional league hires a female to referee or hold a coaching position it takes over headlines because of how uncommon it is in nature. It should not be a story; it should be done regularly.

It is not always athletes who are disrespected, sometimes it’s sideline reporters. Journalist who follow sports often notice women are becoming relevant in sports journalism. However, there is still this connotation keeping female journalist on the sidelines. Female journalist tend to cover halftime interviews and post game interviews. For some reporters like Erin Andrews that meant being sexually harassed by fans and athletes alike. Women in sports journalism are not just a pretty face. They are informative members of the press. They are just as capable as any man to do anything involving sports. Media outlets are continuing to get better at diversity of employees as well as job description, I will give them that. However, there is still more that can be done.

It honestly does not matter what job you have in sports you could be an official, reporter, athlete or coach. There should not be a gender role placed on anyone’s work ethic. Individuals like Mo’ne Davis have proven gender doesn’t matter. You are either talented, or you are not. She can throw a 70 mile-per-hour fastball at age 14; I am a male adult and I do not know if I could even hit 70 on a radar gun.

Bridging the gap of inequality in sports is slowly occurring. The result of the victories like the recent press of the NFL female official hiring should be the start of great reform in athletics. Individuals who love sports and everyone involved around the culture need to strive towards speeding up this process. It is 2015; we should not have to be reporting about the first NFL referee who is female. There should be an exponential amount of women in that position already. This should be a reality in the United States. We are not in the 1960s there should not be a general mold for women in society. There are male nurses and female doctors in our society.

Every women deserves the opportunity to compete and work alongside males in the world of sports. It should not be a headline when a woman gets a job. I understand leagues are attempting to gain better public relations on this issue. However it will take more than just one hiring.

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