Inequalities in sports: here’s what you need to know

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USA women’s hockey team captain Kendall Coyne. Image source: NBC Sports

Morgan Willis

Today, the inequalities in sports have become a serious issue. There are differences in rules, pay, and some women’s sports are even slower than men’s.

An example of inequality in sports is in ice hockey. The difference in rules in this sport is unreasonable. In men’s hockey, you are able to check other players into the boards, but in women’s hockey, that is considered a penalty. Reason being that this could possibly cause injury, or it’s just the fact that people think women are too ‘fragile’ for checking. Another difference in the sport is the pay. Men who play in the NHL make $2.69 million per season, while women who play in the NWHL make $15,000 per season. 

Another example of inequality in sports is in basketball. Men who play in the NBA make $8.32 million per season, while women who play in the WNBA make $120,648. Thankfully, their pay has gone up since 2019, when their pay was $74,349. A difference in the rules is that the three point line in women’s basketball is shorter distance from the hoop than men’s.

Michigan State Spartans’ guard Nia Clouden.
Image source: TheOnlyColors.com

Inequality between men and women is not just in sports either. On a daily average, men get paid from 15% to 100% more than women do. 

“I think that in 2021, there should not be as much unfairness in sports as there is. I think that these rules are the way they are because people believe that if they broadcasted women’s sports, nobody would watch it because there isn’t a large enough fan base. I also believe that women’s hockey players can’t check because people think women are not tough enough,” said Ava Czech, a Nauset freshman. “Some of the key differences between men’s and women’s sports are the rules and publicity. All hockey leagues wear the same amount of padding. If you were to check someone in a girl’s league, you would get a 2 minute penalty. Also, women’s hockey is not on mainstream television.”

Canada Assistant Captain Brianne Jenner takes a shot while USA goalie Maddie Rooney makes a save.
Image source: TheComeback.com

These rules have affected many sports teams, including my own. The rule differences in girl’s U14 ice hockey and boy’s bantam ice hockey are immense. Checking is one of the big differences. “These rules affect me and my team because we may be penalized for something that would be legal if we were playing in a boy’s league,” Ava said.

This problem could definitely be resolved in many ways. One way that this could be resolved is that women who play professional sports should be paid more, and the rules should be more similar. “I would resolve this problem by addressing it and making an argument to present to people that have authority and could make a change,” Ava said. 

After researching this topic, I realized that this topic is way more important than I realized. There should not be as much inequality in sports than there is. I believe that this issue can and should change.