A fanatic, avid, occasional or indifferent sports fan; wherever you are on the spectrum, there is no denying that sports is a huge part of the world that we live in. And believe it or not the isms that abound in society are at play in the sports arena. The particular ism that I am referring to is sexism. The University of Connecticut (UConn Huskies) women’s basketball team broke a 1974 National Collegiate Athlete Association (NCAA) record held by the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) men’s basketball team. The UConn Huskies have won 89 consecutive basketball games; no other college team, male or female has ever done this.
Some of the comments from male sports writers and sports announcers have discounted this wonderful accomplishment and been ignorant and sexist:
“The Huskies are too dominant to be interesting…Americans like competition.”
“This does not interest me because they play below the rim” — Translation – women do not slam dunk and beat their chest afterwards.
“What’s all the hoopla, women’s sports are not as competitive as men’s sports.”
“If the UConn women played a men’s team, the women would loose.”
Even corporate America provided some disrespect to the eminent record breaking event. Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN), the largest national network that provides comprehensive coverage of collegiate and professional sports always telecast all big time games on its premier channel ESPN (approximately 93 million viewers). Instead, they telecast the game on channel ESPNU (approximately 73 million viewers). ESPNU traditionally telecast random non-significant collegiate men’s basketball games.
The last time the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team lost a game was on April 4, 2008. The Huskies won their 89 consecutive game on December 21, 2010. This is not an issue of who is better, women or men. These young women are amazing student athletes who through perseverance and sacrifice have accomplished something that has never been done before in the history of collegiate basketball. As we try to remove the isms from society, remember the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is called the UConn Huskies and not the Lady Huskies.