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Why Aren’t Muhlenberg Students Supporting Female Athletes?

I have been an athlete all my life. If there’s one thing that has become extremely apparent, especially now that I’m a collegiate athlete, it’s that male sports teams are considered superior to female teams. 

We glorify and patronize collegiate male athletes. College football is one, if not the most, watched, played, and funded sport at any institution. Division I football is just as popular as the NFL. Especially in states or cities with no local NFL team, an even bigger emphasis is put on the local university football teams. Even at a Division III school, like Muhlenberg College, the amount of emphasis put on our football program is insane! It is true that Muhlenberg’s football program is always a top contender to win our conference; I’m not here to bash our football team (I go to the games too). However, within the last 10 seasons, the Mules only had three NCAA Bowl appearances, all of which they lost. However, collegiate football is an essential at any college or university due to its national appeal.

Since football doesn’t have a female counterpart, let’s take a look at the Mules women’s volleyball team. The volleyball season is also in the fall and this past season the girls held a record of 24-6, earning a buy in the conference tournament. To get a better insight into the attendance of the girls’ home games, I asked freshman player Rebecca Shear her thoughts. Shear said that “for the majority of our conference games our parents were our main supporters” and there was less attendance from students. The only time students attended was “when they advertised important games”, such as Rally for Reagan.

Wouldn’t you think that a team with more games than the football team, that’s having a record season would have higher attendance? 

And, what about women’s field hockey? I am an athlete on the Mules field hockey team. Although I was sidelined with an injury all season, I noticed that the stadium seats were nearly always empty. Except for the few parents that came to our games, Scotty Wood Stadium was silent. This may be because field hockey is not a well known sport unless you or someone you know plays. But hey, I don’t know anything about football and I still go to the games.

Let's take a look at a sport with both male and female teams: men’s and women’s soccer. This past season, both soccer teams at Muhlenberg College had relatively the same record. The men had a 6-8-3 (win-lose-tie) and the women had a 5-8-4. Despite this, it was evident that more students attended the men's games than the women’s. 

Is it because the men are better athletes than the women?

Based on both teams’ records, no one team had a better season than the other. Only 3/6 wins the men had were home games and 3/5 of the women’s were home wins. So, it appears that the women statistically have a better home win percentage than the men. 

Men’s basketball is also popular at colleges and universities. March Madness is practically a month long national holiday. Did you know there’s a March Madness tournament for the women’s tournament, too? A lot of people don’t. Rarely do any of the women’s games get broadcasted. I’m glad to say that, at Muhlenberg, basketball is the only sport that the more successful team has a larger fan base. The men’s team currently holds a record of 10-12 and the women are 20-2. This was the one situation where I got some pretty good feedback about home game attendance. The women’s team is getting a larger attendance than the boys. 

Why don’t girls get as many student fans as guys? Why do students perceive that men are the superior gender when it comes to athletics? I can say for a fact that, in any sport, a girl can be equally or even more skilled than a boy. 

Source: www.muhlenbergsports.com

   

Jordyn Kamis

Muhlenberg '21

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