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Is Popularity More Important Than Skill?

Imagine you’re running up the length of the court, pushing your legs to go faster and faster. Your heart is beating so hard you can hear it. You pick up the ball and as it leaves your fingertips you hold your breath—hoping that it makes it into the basket. Waiting…waiting…IT’S GOOD! The sound of applause—wait, where is the applause?

With the lack of media coverage and availability to watch women’s sports, people aren’t there to cheer on the teams after they score. Without these factors, women’s sports have been left in the dust, and this isn’t because they aren’t entertaining.

According to a poll done by Seton Hall University, 51% of sports fans agreed that they would watch women’s sports if they were readily available on TV/online platforms. This means that one of the main reasons there is a significant lack of viewership is because there is no easy way to watch women’s sports. For example, one of the ways to watch women’s college basketball is on Peacock and ESPN+ (both of which you have to pay for).

The lack of media attention has led to people not knowing what women’s sports are occurring, when they are occurring and where they are occurring. “Women’s sports currently account for 15 percent of sports media coverage in the US,” states an article from SportsProMedia. The minuscule amount of attention that women’s sports get isn’t warranted either. 

The same poll from Seton Hall University shows that 60% of sports fans would like to see more media exposure for women’s sports. This means that people want to see more of women’s sports, but there continues to be a lack of availability and coverage.

Some people may argue that the reason why women’s sports aren’t as popular is due to the fact that women don’t have the same level of awe and impressiveness as men do. However, Sports reporter, Skye Merida, dismisses this concern in his personal essay, saying that,“Sports is so much more than just athleticism. It’s also skill finesse, will, IQ, intensity, competitiveness, determination and sportsmanship—all of which female athletes possess at least as much as male players.” 

This sentiment isn’t just shared by Merida, but also many male athletes of the same sport. For example, LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas and other male basketball players purposefully follow and praise female basketball players.

All-in-all, I think that the reason why women’s sports aren’t as popular as their male counterparts isn’t because they are less entertaining or less impressive, but because there is a significant lack of media coverage and availability to watch the sports.

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About the Contributor
Carlee Reader, Staff Writer

Sophomore Carlee Reader is in her first year of writing for the Dover Dispatch. Reader is a volunteer at the Dover Community Library. She hopes to pursue an education in either journalism or business psychology after high school.

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