Equal sports, but not equal interest

Jordan Harirchi

By: Jordan Harirchi, Assistant Sports Editor

As a journalism major and Spinnaker writer who is fairly familiar with the news agenda and how it works, I can see the media generally value male sports more than female sports.
Earlier this semester, a head coach of a women’s team at UNF complained about how the team she coached was snubbed a spot in the Spinnaker in favor of other sports, both female and male. The complaint wasn’t raised as a sexist issue, but it makes you wonder about the state of female sports.
While complete and total equality has yet to be reached, women have come a long way from the role of the voiceless housewife to where they are now. I do hope total equality will come soon, but I wonder if there will ever be equal interest when it comes to sports.
ESPN.com has quick-link tabs that lead to the home page of different sports and their leagues. Out of the eight tabs that lead to specific sports, none of them are women’s sports. The NCAA basketball tab is ambiguous, but the home page for that section is populated with the men’s side of college basketball. Women sports are buried in the ninth tab, named “more sports,” along with other obscure or minimally watched sports.
What would happen if women’s sports filled that tab collection?
To be honest, I enjoy watching men’s basketball a thousand times more than women’s basketball. The high-flying dunks and alley-oops captivate my attention much more than shot after shot. I’m probably never going to see a woman violently dunk a ball on another woman, unless I’m watching the basketball beast that is Brittney Griner, who plays for Baylor, in case you didn’t know.
On the other end of the spectrum, women’s soccer is much more entertaining than men’s soccer. I can’t stand the dramatic rolls and acting done by the men. It seems to me that sort of behavior happens less frequently with women.
But as a whole, I do find men’s sports more exciting and can bet many other men would rather watch bone-crunching football action over the fast-paced, highly energetic play of women’s golf. This can be said within men’s sports as well — the NFL garners many more viewers than Major League Soccer.
At the end of the day, the media are businesses that cater to their partakers. The Christian channel isn’t going to advertise a rapper whose album is littered with curse words, just as MTV won’t advertise a denture cleaning product. It’s nothing personal. Men’s sports are just valued more because they maximize profits.
To the coach who complained: You have every reason to be upset, but don’t be upset with the Spinnaker. Be upset at the way a business-minded world works. We’re only trying to simulate that world so it doesn’t consume us when we enter it.
As for me, I’ll continue to be upset when I have to pay double the price of a woman for entry and drink fees to almost any lounge in the country. I understand that isn’t a shot against me as a man. It’s just a business-savvy move. A very damn savvy move.

Email Jordan Harirchi at [email protected]