Posts Tagged “World Cup”

Women Talk Sports recently shared an article from the Patriot News in Pennsylvania about the lack of sports icons for young girls. The article highlighted how many of us are hard-pressed to name a top female athlete outside of maybe a tennis star. It’s no surprise that women’s sports receive less attention than their male counterparts, but according to the article, the media is also fond of separating out certain players from their equally as talented teammates to make a media star. SportsForce not only supports the importance of the team mentality, but also ensuring our female sports are getting just as much exposure as our male sports, so needless to say, I was very interested in this articles topic.

For an example of this media treatment of female athletes, one must look no further than Mia Hamm of the 2000 US Women’s Soccer team. The article explains,

Hamm was the media darling from the beginning, and not by choice.

“The media wanted Mia, and that’s all they wanted,” said Jaime Pagliarulo, a Hershey native and former U.S. national team goalkeeper, who played for the Trojans in high school, and then played college soccer at George Mason University. She was in the national team player pool in 1996, and made the team again in 2001.

According to Pagliarulo, Hamm tried to share the spotlight with her teammates.

“She would say, ‘I’ll do interviews, but I’m bringing so-and-so with me’,” Pagliarulo said. “She recognized that it would take more than just her to carry the women’s soccer movement across the country.

“You’ve got a team of 24 players than the fans adore and love, but she was forced into the spotlight, and she did her part to try to distribute the press and the spotlight. That went for Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain too.”

After the Olympics, the team’s stars were separated out to different teams within the fleeting Women’s United Soccer Association, which lasted only three years before folding.

The lack of women’s sports icon does a great injustice to young female athletes. Though many may have their favorites, the media does not present them as ubiquitously as they do male athletes. Sports Force works hard to empower female athletes to take control of their future. We hope to help all of our young female athletes make it to the college level and beyond to help change the face of sports to include a few more females in the spotlight.

–article content courtesy Women Talk Sports and Patriot News

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