Up until I was a sophomore in high school, I thought allowing girls to participate in sports like football was a crazy concept. But that same year, I heard a rumor of a girl trying out for the football team and making it. I decided to see for myself how she played despite the criticism and challenges.
Watching her play made me realize that she was practically no different from the boys on the field and didn’t need any kind of special treatment. In fact, no one would have guessed she was a girl because she fit in to the game so naturally. This got me thinking that if she could do it, any other girl could too if they put their mind to it.
When talking about this issue, people often bring up the physical aspect of sports and how men and women are not built the same so that’s why they have certain divisions for certain genders. While it is true that men and women are built differently, it is also true that there are women out there that can be on the same level as men in sports.
Just like no two people are made the same, no two sports are made the same either. Some sports want to highlight physicality while others emphasize skills. Anyone can gain the capacity for specific skills no matter their gender, which is why everyone should be given the chance to compete equally. This is especially important in professional sports where the need for skills dominants the need for certain physical aspects.
Since the intent behind all sports is wanting the best players regardless of their gender, race, religion, and looks; women should be given an equal playing field to compete against and alongside men in any sport.
Stereotypes about sports is detrimental to how society views who can play what. Men in sports like gymnastics, cheer and dance are often perceived as less manly than those who play baseball, football or basketball when there is just as much effort put into dance as there is into baseball. By casting stereotypes about certain genders, we allow the discouragement of men in sports that don’t include throwing a ball around.
Additionally, because there are still people who dislike the idea of men in more contemporary sports, they aren’t as open to the idea of women playing alongside men. However, it is unfair to judge someone based solely on their gender, which is what I and many others did when they heard that a girl would be playing on the football team sophomore year. In order to appropriately judge her skill, I had to see her in action which is what I believe everyone should do upon hearing similar news.
I believe that we do have a long way to go even if professional sports like football were to allow women to play for them, but I also think that it is possible and should be considered. If high schools like mine let girls play on their teams alongside so many boys, why not let them play at the college and professional level? Sure, there will be lots of opposition, but less opposition once they see them play.