Sexism in sports poses difficult obstacles for women

Amanda Nelson, Editor-in-Chief

Sexism poses a difficult obstacle for women in sports, especially in light of current events revolving around players such as Alize Cornet and Serena Williams.

Alize Cornet, a French player participating in the 2018 U.S. Open, changed her back-to-front shirt on the court. According to The International Tennis Federation’s 2018 Official Grand Slam Rulebook, the book, “stipulates that players can request permission to leave the court for a “change of attire break” to change their clothing at the “nearest assigned bathroom.” Alize Cornet broke the rules and received a code violation (resulting in the loss of a point), yet men have removed their shirts after matches countless times. Where are their code violations?

Earlier in the U.S. Open, Williams was banned from wearing a “catsuit” which aided in a post-natal medical problem. Later in the competition, Williams faced three code violations during her match against Naomi Osaka in the 2018 U.S Open finals. One for alleged coaching, another for breaking her racket and the final for “verbally abusing” the official by calling him a “thief” in reference to the umpire for docking points for previous violations.

This raises a question of double standards in athletics. Do men get a free pass due to bias against women within the sports community? Women face stereotypes in every aspect of their lives. Society characterizes them as delicate caregivers, which are hardly feats of an athlete. Not only do stereotypes pose an obstacle for females in the sports industry, but blatant pay gaps exemplify the true setbacks they face compared to men.

Take the Women’s National team for example. They have won the Women’s World Cup three times in comparison to their male counterparts who did not even qualify for the Men’s World Cup in Russia this past summer. The argument still stands that more people watch men’s soccer, therefore they bring in more money, which on some levels is true. In the case of our U.S. national teams, however, not so much. According to The New York Times, “the United States women’s national team earned more money than the men’s national team last year. U.S. Soccer projects it will do so again in the next fiscal year.” Bearing this in mind, these women still get paid less.

It is time for people to let go of stereotypes and start treating women athletes with the respect they deserve.