Athletes, coaches, broadcasters, umpires, referees, general managers: the world of sports has been forever dominated by men and has made little progress in recent years in welcoming women into a world that they so rightly and equitably deserve a place in.
“Yeah, on the sidelines wearing skirts and waving poms poms around,” says the overweight, Coors Light-drinking Cleveland Browns fan who has worn and burned starting-quarterback jerseys more times than Taylor Swift has changed her relationship status.
Last time I checked, the only thing that you have that we don’t are penises and a Y chromosome. So why do males insist that females have no place sticking their noses into the sports world? Are your members all-endowed by Phil Jackson, Vince Lombardi and Ted Williams? I didn’t think so. Is it programmed into your DNA to assume that females know nothing about sports and you most likely know more than the next guy? We have two X chromosomes, you have an X and a Y. When was the last time you saw a Y in a playbook? Never? Me either.
Believe it or not, which I know will be hard for Cowboys fans considering they think Tony Romo is actually a good quarterback, I drafted my own fantasy team–by myself. Believe it or not, I made my own 2016 March Madness bracket and who did I pick to win? That’s right, Villanova. And even more shocking, I actually know what PAT and ERA stand for. Un-freaking-believable, right? Someone with a vagina actually knows something beyond how big Mike Trout’s fiance’s ring is and who Klay Thompson is dating? Gasp.
You know what, though? I will give you the benefit of the doubt. There are those girls who pick the team they will root for in each game based on the colors of the players’ uniforms. There are those girls who auto-draft their fantasy teams or draft with the help of their boyfriends or brothers. And yes, there are those girls who would much rather be wearing a pink Lebron James jersey or be cheering from the sidelines. And that is ok.
What is not ok is assuming that we are all the same. There are those of us who watch the games because we genuinely enjoy the thrill of competition. There are those of us who know just as much, if not more than most males. We watch the same games that you watch, listen to the same broadcasts and analyses, and read and grimace at the same uneducated tweets that you do.
Oh, we never played football or participated in the intensely passionate camaraderie that is the men’s locker room? Please explain how that makes us less knowledgeable about sports. You played Pop Warner and some junior college baseball? Please elaborate how this makes you a credible source for determining that you would be a way better coach than Joe Maddon. In other words, you are just as credible as the females inhabiting the sports world as we, like you, didn’t get the opportunity to play or coach in the pros. You didn’t, however, because you weren’t good enough. We didn’t because it’s not even a viable option for us, for now. Enter Becky Hammon, Amanda Hopkins and Sarah Thomas. These women have broke barriers in male-dominated professions, but we have a long way to go.
You very well could know the ins and outs of the Boston Red Sox, but you are definitely, without a doubt, not the only one. So guys, before you assume that we are only wearing Aaron Rodgers and Bryce Harper jerseys because they are good-looking and that’s what humans with vaginas do, think again and actually pick our brains.
We do not need you to be impressed, nor do we need your validation. What we need is the respect that we deserve as fellow sports aficionados who just happen to have boobs, like some of you. Don’t just take a knee for racial injustice, but stand up for gender equality.