Good Argumentative Essay On Women Basketball Players Should Get As Much Media Attention As Men
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In today’s society, it is evident that sports are male dominated. They get much more attention from media than female athletes, despite the growth in the level of participation by females. In every aspect of media coverage, this trend is seen; like in the columns, personal quotes, articles, TV sports channels, radio updates, photos, and headlines. ESPN devotes only 1.4% of its time for all women sports. The time coverage each sport get is hence in fractions! According to Title IX passed in 1972, it was stated that in United States no one (male/female) will be excluded from participation, or given fewer benefits or be discriminated in any educational program or activity under Federal financial assistance. But it has been 40 years since the act has passed and even today women do not get adequate coverage and participation opportunities. Even when they do get media attention, it is focused more on their physical appearance or activities which are not concerned about their skills and performance.
The trend of lack of media attention for women can be highlighted by considering just one sport; here I will compare male and female basketball players. A CNN reporter Kelly Wellace took her daughters to a basketball match in Columbia. They had experienced male basketball tournament previously and were enthusiastic to watch the female tournament. To their disappointment, only a handful of the crowd was present as compared to a packed house in the male tournament. There was no media coverage to encourage these competitive players and to earn them popularity. Why such a discrimination? Women spend equal time practicing their skills and to compete in tournaments then why only male players get an appreciation of the world! Even the Princeton women basketball team earned a higher score than Ivy League, men’s team. They scored 30 wins and zero losses as compared to Ivy League men’s team record of 28 wins and zero losses. This proves that women have equal talents and can beat a male team by their scores. Although Princeton team achievement was telecasted in headlines, but this media attention was not even comparable to what male players gets. If females can play equally well, I wonder that when will they get the same attention with respect to number of fans, media highlights and marketing endorsements. In this advanced era, it is a shame that such a day is hardly predictable!
The injustice in the difference of coverage for a male and female basketball tournament is worth mentioning. Kian, Vincent and Mondello (2008) did research on 2006 NCAA basketball tournament and found that in four major coverage outlets (two newspapers and two online sources) the typical gender bias persisted. The front page of New York Times highlighted the final four teams of male NCAA basketball tournament whereas women tournament was mentioned in a story deep in the sports section at that too without a photo. The female team has an equal right to get coverage on the front page.
The lack of media attention paid to women players results in wage inequalities too. Each individual female basketball player gets $101,000 in WNBA, the women’s league. Comparing this to NBA, men’s league, the lowest annual salary each player gets is $48,000,000. If we consider higher paid male teams and players, this discrepancy gets even worse. The highest paid male player, Bryant, gets over $27,000,000 annually which is 270 times more than highest paid female player. Bryant is surely a better basketball player than a best female player, but he is definitely not 270 times better, then why does he earn more salary, let alone fame, than the female player. This inequality is primarily because the people are not interested in watching female tournaments. All professional sports are highly dependent on the fans that are basically paying for seats to watch their fans. As media does not cover female sports, so the fan following is also be affected, and this leads to low payments to females by their teams.
Winter Olympics of 2010 was a mega sports event. The audience were very excited to watch women’s basketball though not as excited as men’s basketball, but they certainly were. I think this proves that there is a considerable audience to watch women basketball, and the audience will increase as far as it is presented in an interesting way by the media. Think of the last time female basketball match was shown on TV. I bet it was the Winter Olympics. So, if people are interested in watching the sport then why is it not shown on TV? Would it really hurt the sports channels if they show women basketball? Certainly not, I believe! Instead of telecasting male tournament multiple times, they surely can show women sport.
I certainly do not have expert information about the world of sports, but all the research I did for this article on basketball male and female players and their coverage by media, I am pretty sure that there is injustice done on part of females. By not showing female basketball players on television and in newspapers as role models, the younger female generation is unlikely to get inspiration to play basketball. I absolutely do not say that young girls and females can have male basketball athletes as role model, but if they will never see this sport being played professionally then they will never value it in the same way as boys do. Moreover, the lack of financial success female players suffer from will cause a lesser number of young girls to pursue basketball as their career. This will result in competent female basketball girls to choose another path as their career as they will not be able to make money from the sport they love. This is truly unfortunate and more than this; it is unfair. I think the time has arrived for female athletes to get equal appreciation, popularity and respect they deserve.
Cooper, Coyte G., Andrea Eagleman, and Pamela C. Laucella. "NCAA March madness: An investigation of gender coverage in USA Today during the NCAA basketball tournaments." Journal of Intercollegiate Sport 2.2 (2009): 299-311.
Chrisler, Joan C., and Donald R. McCreary. Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology Volume 2: Gender Research in Social and Applied Psychology. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. Print.
"Equality Matters." 'Equality Matters' Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
Lavoi, Nicole M. "Gender and sport media." Gender relations in sport. SensePublishers, 2013. 39-52.
"When Will Women's Sports Get the Same Attention as Men? - CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
"Website Coverage of NCAA Basketball: Are Women Getting Equal Playing Time?" WSPAJ 18.1 (2009). Print.
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