6 Reasons Why Sports Are Sexist By; Matthew Diperna

Have you ever heard of sexism in sports? Even if you haven't noticed it, I'm sure you have experienced it at some time. Sexism is very a broad subject and can be seen in many different forms, especially in sports whether it is dealing with endorsements, advertisements, uniforms, the media, reporters, and even air time.

1. Advertisements

A major part of sexism within sports can be seen in sports advertising. Sports advertising can be seen in commercials, magazines, and many other ways. Often times women are portrayed as "sexier" or in a more seductive manor by posing for their ads where men are seen in action shots and working out to show their more aggressive nature and hard work. This could imply that women aren't real athletes, and just for show and entertainment, where men are the real athletes. This is sexist because women should be shown in the same light as men, since they put in the same work, and many have the same achievements as one another.

2. Endorsement Deals

Another way sports can be viewed as sexist is through endorsements. Endorsements are when a company, like Nike, pays or sponsors you to represent their brand. This could mean wearing the companies clothes, drinking their drinks, participating in advertisements, and photo shoots. Many of the top athletes have multiple endorsements from different companies. This can be seen as sexist because in the list of the top 100 endorsed athletes in 2016 there was no woman in the top 15. The top 15 endorsed athletes were all male.This means that 15 male athletes are payed more just from endorsements that one female athlete. The 16th and 17th athletes are women,they are Maria Sharpova and Serena Williams. Although they are slightly down the line, they are still represented. However the next female athlete on the list in the 94th out of 100. This is sexist because both genders are playing the same sports and doing the same jobs. So why does one need to be payed more? It is also crazy that there are only 3 female athletes in the top 100. They are doing as hard of work as the men so they should be more evenly distributed.

3. Air Time

Air time is also a key factor to why sports are sexist. Air time is the amount of time that a specific sport or sporting event is on TV. The more time a sport is on TV, the greater the chance that sport will develop a following and become more popular. However there is a problem. Men's sports get a majority of air time, not giving women's sports an opportunity. According to this chart only 2.8% of coverage time on sports center and local affiliates in 2014 was focused on women's sports. The female athletes work just as hard and they deserve to be appreciated and recognized just as much as men's sports. These air time numbers should be closer to even to give everyone the enjoyment of watching their favorite sport, and to be recognized for their achievements.

4. Media

Sexism can be found very often in the media. The media includes all social media, news outlets, TV shows, and much more. In the tweet on the left, the Chicago Tribune is being called out for not even saying the name of an Olympic bronze medalist, but referring to her as a wife to a Chicago Bears lineman. Also in the media, trends of key words have been found in articles that show vast differences between men and women's college basketball. Men's college basketball focused more on exciting parts of the game such as a dunk or pound or even stadium, where as women's college basketball focused more on pronouns, such as herself, her and she. This shows sexism because the two groups of athletes are portrayed very differently.

5. Reporter bias

Reporter bias is a major source of sexism in sports. Reporter bias can range from an interview or anything said from a reporter. As seen in the video the reporter asks the Female tennis player to twirl to show her outfit and everyone including the athlete is okay with it. This is sexist because when he asked it to a male athlete the reaction was a lot different. It portrays female athletes more like models based on looks and what they are wearing, where as the men are portrayed as tough and aggressive athletes.


Within sports the clothing is also sexist in many ways. Most of the time women's uniforms are smaller and show more skin compared to men's uniforms. This is degrading in a way for female athletes because it shows them in a different light. As seen in the examples, the men's uniforms are either a tank or a shirt and normal length shorts, which is an appropriate size uniform. On the other hand, The female uniforms look like sports bras and and very short shorts. Is this needed? This sends a sexist tone to sports showing that women have to dress like this however in reality they could wear normal clothes like the guys.


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