Double standards are evident in sports

Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

I am an Asian-American female athlete. Nike has just released an ad campaign on women’s empowerment in female athletes. I am a minority and a female in the world of sports and so I was told when I was young that it’s going to be different for me.

The Nike advertisement exposed the double standard that women have to face on and off the field, court, or arena. Words that described the women in the ad were dramatic, delusional, unhinged, hysterical and the name of the ad, crazy. Many well-known female athletes of all backgrounds and races were shown, such as Megan Rapinoe, Becky Hammon, Simone Biles, and the star of the ad Serena Williams. The double standard of showing emotion for women is different than men and it is perceived differently from the media, especially in the sports world.

I have played a total of eight sports throughout my entire life. I was malnourished when I first came over to the United States as a three-month-old infant. I have always struggled with my health and sports has always been a way to release my energy and maintain a good body shape and diet.

T h r o u g h my bouncing around in so many sports, I have experienced d i f f e r e n t skill sets and backgrounds on how other female athletes have gotten to where they are now. In the sports world, females are seen as inferior and unable to do as males can, due to their genetic differences. It is obvious we have different bodily functions, size and ratio of body mass to muscle. However, women can do as much as a man can.

Growing up with an older brother and playing similar sports as he did, I always compared my worth ethic to his and saw how the different playing styles of men to women varied from sport to sport. As a young naive kid, I didn’t understand why it was different or why it mattered so much if the teams were co-ed or not. I have not played co-ed teams since I played for the pee-wee YMCA soccer league where the results didn’t matter. But the more I grew up, I noticed a change in myself and what I stood for out on the field.

There needs to be a conversation and awareness made to the double standard that women or little girls have to face in sports; they need to know that it is not okay. People need to know that yes, men and women are genetically different. But, women should be given the same opportunities to accomplish in their own craft, and it shouldn’t have to be noticed when a woman ever outshines a man.

The perception of women doing as well as or better than men is also important, because it can be seen as negative when a girl outplays a boy and not seen as greatness. Comparisons drawn between professional athletes should also be considered, because for example, take swimming. There will always only be one Michael Phelps. When female swimmer Katie Ledecky broke records and outswam her opponents, people compared her to Michael Phelps. The question that must be asked is, “Why can’t women just be great at what they do?” A woman’s greatness shouldn’t be defined from what a man in the same area has accomplished; a woman should be proud of herself and not because she has outdone a man.

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