An Open Letter to Female Sports Fans

Dear all,

Have you ever found yourself deeply intrigued by a male dominated sport, but felt completely uncomfortable to discuss it with men who seem to care less? I can completely relate.

In my own personal case it happens to be my love for professional basketball. Growing up I watched my dad coach a men’s basketball team closely. After watching the Golden State Warriors struggle to rebuild as a team and franchise, I learned a lot about the NBA and the fundamentals of basketball.

Years later, I decided to join my junior varsity basketball team in high school. After playing for half of a season I actually loved running down the court and conditioning before each season. The only flaw happened to be our punishment from coaches when another teammate talked back. In 11th grade I returned to the basketball team in hopes to enhance my skills, and senior year quickly began.

I realized that adulting was approaching and that I could not play basketball anymore, which hurt me. Playing and being interested a sport where men are completely dominant in is completely okay. The hardest times happen to be when men are in discussion about a team that you are completely knowledgeable about but you don’t feel that it may be right for you to intervene.

My best advice to you would be to not worry! Although men tend to be a little harsh when it comes to women talking about sports, it’s completely a normal thing to experience. However, when it comes to this there is a huge level of uncomfort. I can sense it in the room when men decide to speak out loud about certain basketball players and aspects of the game.

You tend to wonder things like “I wish I could say something, but will I be ridiculed or get a funny look for this?” The final thing that I can say is to continue becoming knowledgeable about the sport you love. Focusing on normalizing what men assume about women is not your fault. I am 100 percent sure that some men create a stereotype in their head when it comes to women who know actually know about sports.

Be motivated by all of the women who are also dominant in sports. The WNBA is a organization that does not get much love from men yet it happens to be a successful one due to the women who are apart of it. Working day and night on their skills while balancing a personal and family life is what makes women who participate in sports special.

So do not be afraid to open up and talk to men about sports, conversations always allow for learning experiences that gives us more room, and even shock those who least expect it.

Sincerely,

Shellise, one of the BIGGEST female NBA fans!