Let’s support women’s sports

Kent State isn’t exactly known for its student support of sports events, and the university has been making efforts to get students behind Golden Flash athletics.

There has been an especially noticeable effort to generate interest in the Kent State football team. Pep rallies are advertised around campus. The school mascot gives football tickets to students making their way to class. Tailgating events attempt to draw students to the poorly attended games.

At a glance, a student could believe football was one of the only sports at Kent State. The hype centered on the sport only subsides for one other season – men’s basketball.

Other sports still have seasons coming to a close, yet the athletic program rallied behind the men’s basketball preview with press.

Most would attribute the attention these sports receive to the revenue they make for Kent State. Although the men’s basketball team is a moneymaker, the football team has struggled with a poor record and crowd support.

In the attempt to revitalize athletics at Kent State, we can’t help but ask one question.

Where is the support for women athletes?

Both the women’s volleyball and field hockey teams have winning records. It seems the greatest tool to bolster school spirit would be uniting under the efforts of winning teams.

Women’s sports are generally ignored at Kent State. The women work just as hard as the men but see half the attention or accolades.

We cannot blame Kent State alone for its inequality in sports. The university’s athletics reflect the American double standard involving gender and sports.

In the American society, women’s sports are constantly playing catch up to men’s. Women athletes are constantly less respected and compensated than men.

Professional athletics are a sad representation of the unfairness female athletes must face.

In 2006, the average salary for a woman in the Women’s National Basketball Association was $47,000, according to The New York Times. Most women in the WNBA have to get a second job during the off-season or play overseas to compensate for their low pay.

Men in the National Basketball Association, however, live a life of luxury. For instance, the median salary for a player on the Cleveland Cavaliers was a little more than $3 million last season, according to USA Today.

Men typically receive more endorsements than women, making millions off of anything from beverage endorsements to shoe deals.

LeBron James received a $90 million dollar shoe deal, while a WNBA player might not be able to afford her rent. Something doesn’t add up.

Why do we care about the attention given to women’s athletics?

The treatment of women athletes represents a sexism that people are hesitant to admit still exists. To praise two athletes differently because of their gender is no worse than paying an employee less money because of his or her gender.

We’d like to see sports teams get attention because of their talent and hard work. It’s time stop only worshipping sports that embody the most masculinity or require the most testosterone.

Next time you’re walking to class, hopefully you get a free ticket to the next women’s volleyball game too.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.