Sports Round Up #1: The Future of Women's Sports Is In the Hands of the Athletes - And Fans
By Lily Gustafson, Editorial Intern Each month, one of our high school interns will research and gather articles written by or about women's sports. Our mission is to spread awareness of women's voices in the sporting field, to help tell the stories of our community, and to inspire her own understanding and voice.
The Awesome Sports Project was created to give female athletes a platform to express themselves. It is also here to share women's sports news, which is rarely covered by most news outlets. Women's sports are hardly on TV for people to watch and learn to appreciate. In her essay, "(In)Visibility," published by The Players' Tribune, WNBA star Maya Moore addresses this issue. Moore is a great writer and makes a lot of valid, interesting points, and she shares her experience of how after she was picked as the number one draft out of UConn, she felt a drop in exposure and hype in the WNBA. I think it's important to understand the root of the perceived differences between men's and women's sports, which Moore dives into.
"I want someone to watch me play because of my jump shot, not my tight shorts." - Maya Moore
Along with writing for The Players Tribune this year, Maya Moore had a successful basketball season. She led the Minnesota Lynx to their third WNBA title in five years, continuing their dominant run, as reported by the WNBA, in "Third Title in Five Years Cements Minnesota Dynasty." That five-year span started in 2011, the year Moore was drafted by the Lynx. When people talk about dynasties, the Spurs or the Patriots always come up first. But, although it's only been five years (compared to 18 since the Spurs' first title), I think the Lynx deserve to be in that conversation. Similar to the Spurs, the success for the Lynx started when they drafted their star: Maya Moore.
At the same time, in her five-year career, Moore has been named league MVP once. Elena Delle Donne has done the same in three years, after winning the award this year. As a part of her MVP-caliber season, Delle Donne converted on 95 percent of her free throws, making her "basketball's best free throw shooter". In Wall Street Journal, Tom Perrota writes a about Delle Donne in "Basketball's Best Free-Throw Shooter isn't in the NBA."
"Today, I was watching Women's World Cup, which I love so much and then my brother decides to come into the room and say 'Ayla, boys are so much better at soccer than girls.'" - Ayla, 13-year-old girl
Moore and Delle Donne have illustrated the impact one player can have on her team. But after writing a letter to Barrack and Michelle Obama about the lack of respect for female athletes, 13-year-old Ayla found how big of an affect voicing your opinion can have. This is published in the White House Blog, "Play Like a Girl? It 'Means You're a Badass'." This is a great story. The fact that a 13-year-old can have such an impact gives me hope for the future of women's sports. I love that she wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in. We need more of that in sports, and the world.