Dynamic Duo: A Sports Column


Pavle Ristic and Zachary Grover, Editors-In-Chief

Sports are a place for everyone to take shelter from the daily stresses of life. What makes sports so special, at least in our eyes, is the fact that there is something for everybody. However, the current sports landscape still isn’t dishing out that opportunity for everyone equally.

   According to the New York Times, on March 1, it was announced that the WNBA fined the New York Liberty 500,000 dollars for using chartered flights for its players multiple times throughout the past few years even though they were paid for out of pocket by Liberty Owner Joe Tsai. Is there any logical reason why NBA and college athletes deserve chartered flights while WNBA athletes don’t? WNBA players are athletes at the pinnacle of their sport, playing in a League worth hundreds of millions of dollars and they are spending hours upon hours a year at airports cramming into commercial flights. They are eating the same pretzels and drinking the same ginger ale as the rest of us and then waking up the next day to compete at a professional level (nytimes.com).

   Reading this, it may seem nitpicky to complain over a lack of chartered flights, but it is just proof that all athletes still aren’t treated the same, even at the highest level. Last year at the NCAA’s March Madness tournaments, the difference in gym equipment provided at the men’s and women’s tournaments was shocking. The men had large, dedicated gyms, while the women got just a few dumbbells and athletic bands.

   All of this looks bad. And it most certainly is. There is some change coming about, but it is painfully slow. According to ESPN, as of the end of February, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team finally came to a settlement with the United States Soccer Federation so that they will equally compensate men’s and women’s soccer players. It took six years and having the best women’s soccer team in the world to get it done (espn.com).

   There is a bright side, the U.S. Soccer Federation is taking this as an opportunity to lead by example. In addition to the pay from now on, U.S. Soccer has agreed to pay a lump sum of 22 million dollars of back pay to the players. That money will be distributed in a manner proposed by players and approved by the court. The federation will also put 2 million dollars into a fund for USWNT players’ post-career goals and other charitable efforts (npr.org).

   Now, with all this momentum, we must not stop the push for equality in sports. So that more and more people can see themselves in the athletes on TV, so that each and every child can have an ideal which they can strive towards, we have to keep going.