Sports can be a fun way to engage in your community or just have fun enjoying a game with friends. A survey of roughly 1,600 people found 51 percent of women identifying as sports fans and a Nielsen poll found that women make up more than 35 percent of fans in each league, so why don’t we get the same respect as the guys? We face many stereotypes as females who enjoy sports that just arent warented.
1. We’re pretending to like sports for a guy
One of the most common misconceptions is that we are pretending to like sports for a guy’s attention. Some girls do this, and that’s OK; but here’s the thing, we can like sports just to like sports.
2. We only like the games for the cute players
Enjoying sports for the cute players is something that is almost always attributed to female fans. I started watching hockey at age 7 when boys still had cooties. So, I’m pretty sure the looks weren’t what I was focusing on at that age.
3. You have to prove your knowledge
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me for facts that almost no one knows, I could probably afford a jersey or two. Why must we know facts from before our time, or even crazier things to prove we’re legitimate fans?
UWF junior, Amy Beamer said in her first year of college at USF in Tampa, she had joined in a conversation about the Tampa Bay Lightning and stated goalie Ben Bishop as a favorite player. “I guess I made the mistake of saying that he was my favorite player because one of the guys started chastising me saying things like ‘You don’t know anything about hockey, I know more than you because you’re a girl,’” Beamer said.
The guy went on to state his opinion about Bishop being the reason the Lightning lost playoffs that year. Beamer said she decided to let him finish his opinion before pointing out that Bishop was injured and did not even play; and therefore could not have lost the playoffs for them. This quieted him down until he found out she was an Ohio State fan and quizzed her every game to prove she was a real fan.
4. We don’t know the rules
Often times it can feel like we’re being talked down to when it comes to the rules. The rules confuse everyone sometimes, not just girls. There are many girls that can talk circles around guys when it comes to the rules of some sports.
5. Finding fan gear that’s flattering and in team colors
Let’s get this out of the way: pink is a great color, but unless it’s for Breast Cancer awareness or it’s a team color, not all women’s fan apparel needs to be pink. More recently, leagues and teams have been branching out when it comes to fan apparel geared towards women, but it’s a long way from being perfect. The sexier cuts can be great if that’s what you want to wear; but sometimes you just want to throw on a jersey or a t-shirt and not drown in the boxy men’s cuts. Why is it these make up the majority of our options?
6. Girls’ sports aren’t “real sports”
Unless it’s the Olympics, “girls’ sports” aren’t considered to be sports to a lot of people. One friend who used to referee girls soccer games told me he noticed girls are typically tougher and play harder even at a young age. They can even be sneakier when fouling. It’s not uncommon to hear that sports like volleyball and cheerleading aren’t “real sports”. Tell that to all the bruises and scars most of those girls have gotten playing them.
7. Girls sports are just entertainment for guys
Girls can be just as competitive, if not more than guys. Yet somehow, girls sports are sometimes viewed as merely entertainment and not competition. UWF senior Kaitlyn Johnson shared that when she played basketball in high school her senior year, her coach told her that she was “good at always bringing the guys in to watch our games.”
Whether you’re a girl who has been a sports fan for years or not, Pensacola has some great sports opportunities to check out. The Pensacola Ice Flyers are hosting their Veteran’s Appreciation game Friday 11/11 at 7:05 p.m. and Weiner Dog Race night Saturday 11/12 at 7:05 p.m. Bring your student ID to receive $10 center ice tickets to the games.