Professional Women’s Sports: Will They Last?

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Ever since Title IX was created women have been allowed to compete competitively in athletics. With women sports in high school and college, the professional level is dwindling. For instance, Women’s soccer at a professional level is huge when it comes to playing for team USA and playing at an international level, but when it comes to forming a professional women’s soccer league, that is where it fails. The NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) is the third attempt after two high-profile, high-cost false starts, to establish a successful women’s soccer league here in the United States. Why was it such a struggle to get a league started? It’s like Dunning says, the dominate trend in modern sports, namely a trend, at all levels of participation, but most conspicuously in top-level sports, towards growing competitiveness, seriousness of involvement and achievement oriented. Women’s sports have not reached that pinnacle yet and that is why they are not as popular as men’s sports.

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As much as I want to root for women’s sports, you wont see me watching the WNBA on a tuesday night. That is just fact, the women sports in our society fail to market themselves clearly and i believe that hurts them when it comes to fans and viewers. With that being said, the WNBA just completed its 18th consecutive season, but the average fan would not know that because it gets shadowed by men’s sports. Yes, they may air the WNBA championship on ESPN, but other than that the only way your gonna hear news on them is on SportsCenter, squeezed between Lebron James losing with the Cavs and Ray Rice in court.

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With the success that women have had in tennis, golf, and NASCAR with Danica Patrick, there is hope for women athletes how aspire to be professionals. Sex sells. The Legends Football League or more commonly know as the Lingerie Football League is entering into its 6th season. Why has it been able to stay popular? Because it defies the norms of women’s sports and accesses a sex appeal that is appealing to the male population. Claudia Allen, a player in LFL, was quoted saying “women in sports are often depicted as manly and unattractive, but here we got to flaunt what we have and still feel powerful and sporty.” The sports we see when women play do not follow these guidelines of wearing little clothing while playing an intense sport.

Lets go back to what I was saying about fixing the problem of Professional women’s sports. When you try to introduce a new sport to the public you can’t through it at them all at once, you have to ease into it and figure out who the real fans are. That is why women’s soccer struggle so much at the beginning, they were too focused at building there league up that they forgot about the people who cared, the fans. With the WNBA continuing to have success and the NWSL starting to break away from the starting line, there is not limit to the success that these sports can have. These women are the future of professional women’s sports because they need to show the world that it is being done and will continue to be done the right way.

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2 thoughts on “Professional Women’s Sports: Will They Last?

  1. I agree, but it is not just on the professional level. Women’s sports as they already gain minimum support, as they continue on a level of hierarchy, there is less of importance. Being a freshmen, in high school I participated in sports and supported all of the other teams (mens and women’s including bowling, quiz bowl, skiing, etc) because I felt as if I wanted support, I had to play my cards forward as well. It was not until recently where I realized that the WNBA still exists. I just feel as introducing a new sport, especially a women’s sport, at this time would make it hard to be adapted by the country to gain support.

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  2. I liked your post, but there were a couple of things that I don’t think you touched on. The United States women’s soccer national team has enjoyed tremendous popularity for years, ever since winning the World Cup in 1999. I don’t think that the issue the NWSL had in building itself up or increasing popularity had anything to do with the fact that it is women competing. The MLS (mens soccer league) has struggled similarly when compared to leagues in Europe because the United States simply doesn’t have the talent pool that Europe does. I have no doubt that there will eventually be a successful women’s league, it just might take a while. Soccer has been played since the 3rd century BC, however it is just in the last 20 years that it has gained a presence in America, we have some catching up to do.

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