As I will mention in a new blog post later this week, I have decided to change my final project topic to focus on how women’s basketball is portrayed in the media.
I will be exploring the idea of women’s basketball in the media because this topic is very closely related to my life. I have been playing basketball since I was about six years old, and now, I am playing basketball at the collegiate level at Emory University. I am very invested in basketball and have a great love and passion for the game. We all know the infamous phrase, “Ball is life,” but in my case, basketball literally is my life. I do not know what my life would be like or look like without basketball. It has been a very important piece in my life and will continue to be for the rest of my life as the teammates I make and have made will be friends for life.
Like I said, I have grown up playing basketball, so I have also grown up playing in games with about twenty fans sitting in the stands; all of whom are the parents and/or families of the girls on my team. The only time I have ever had a packed student and fan section was when the boys’/men’s team was playing after us or when we had a playoff game in high school and my coach (who was also a teacher in my school) gave out extra credit to anyone who came.
There are not many people who want to come out to girls’/women’s basketball event without a good reason. I practically find myself begging my friends to come watch me play even for just ten minutes. My own brother never enjoyed being dragged along to my games as he always thought, “Girl’s games are so boring and slow.” Evidently, he is not the only person to have those thoughts, hence the way women’s basketball is portrayed in the media. Also, if looked at even closer, the amount of tickets sold and the price compared to men’s basketball is significantly less.
In my own experiences, the men’s basketball games are always publicized on the media more often than the women’s games. For example, the Emory University athletics Facebook and Twitter pages always mention the men’s basketball game before mentioning the women’s as if to give it the back seat. The media uses the men’s basketball games to grab the attention of its audience and then goes onto mention the women’s game. In addition, to elaborate on my high school basketball experiences, my head coach would offer extra credit for every single playoff game that we had. During the playoff stretch, the stands are filled to its maximum and then some. It really is such a neat experience to be able to play the game that I love in front of such a huge and supportive crowd. However, it is very unfortunate and sad to realize that the absolute only reason all of those students came was to earn extra points to help boost their grade at the end of the year.
Aside from the negatives brought upon women’s basketball from the media, there are a few positives that can potentially lead to a brighter future. Specifically, many sports news reporters are former (women’s) college and/or WNBA basketball players. So, these reporters are big advocates for the women’s game and will hopefully give women’s basketball the little push that it needs to be seen as more of an equal to men’s basketball. I am optimistic that women’s basketball will get a broader media base soon, especially since women’s rights and equality are very prevalent in today’s world.