Equality for Women's Sports on SportsCenter

Equality for Women's Sports on SportsCenter

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Morgan McGruder started this petition to ESPN and

On May 1st, 2019, my high school soccer coach posted a video of a save I made and tagged ESPN and SportsCenter. Jokingly, I stated, "Like ESPN covers women's sports," but after further research, I actually found out that my joke was very true. I went onto SportsCenter's Instagram account and it took me 87 posts before I arrived at a female sport. As of today, it takes me 181 posts before I reach the same video of a softball player catching a ball and hitting the fence. Nice. SportsCenters' sponsor, ESPN, is slightly better, with 31 post until a women's sport. 

"In 2014, LA-based network affiliates devoted only 3.2 percent of airtime to women’s sports, down from 5 percent in 1989. SportsCenter devoted a scant 2 percent of airtime to women’s sports, a number that has remained flat since the study began tracking the nightly cable broadcast in 1999." The fact that women's airtime has actually decreased since 1989 shows the view our country has on women's sports, despite the increase in young girls participation in athletics. We are not allowing young women to have influential women's athletes, because women are not given a platform to shine on. 

"At the same time, men’s sports coverage of the Big Three – football, basketball and baseball – has increased. The study found broadcasters devoted 74.5 percent of their sports reports to Big Three coverage, up from 68 percent in 2009. Big Three sports coverage continues well into the off-season, continuing storylines about teams and players even when no actual games are being played." Women's sports could be getting more coverage while the big three male sports are in the off season, yet networks choose to be enthusiastic about offseason just to create anticipation for the actual season. With the extra airtime devoted to the big three's offseason, women could be promoted for big season events like NCAA tournaments, women's world cup, and olympic events. Men are even covered for mundane tasks such as ,"where former Lakers player Kendall Marshall will find a good burrito in Milwaukee (Chipotle)," while women continue to struggle for airtime. 

"There are far more men’s sports leagues than women’s, so it makes sense that there would be greater representation of male athletes overall. But the fact that coverage of men’s Big Three sports so utterly dominated news coverage is problematic." With such a variety of men and women's sports, networks should not be constrained to the three basic male sports. Coverage of all sports is important in promoting equality, because it helps shift the focus from mostly male dominated sports, to sports where both genders thrive. 

A few ways that the study suggests to improve female representation overtime are as following: 
"• increasing the proportion of news and highlights airtime devoted to women’s sports to 12-18 percent
• allowing enough coverage to be able to develop storylines throughout a season or a year
• reporting on women’s sports with the same enthusiasm that men’s coverage receives
• hiring sports reporters or anchors who actually have some interest or background in women’s sports."

Source: “When It Comes to Women in Sports, TV News Tunes Out.” USC News, 15 Feb. 2018, news.usc.edu/82382/when-it-comes-to-women-in-sports-tv-news-tunes-out/.

#MustangCivics

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