As time goes on, outdated myths of gender roles have been reshaped. The sports world is one of the last areas where such “caveman” ideology existed.
Traditionally, athletics have been associated with men, however, new traditions are being carved out daily. There are plenty of standout athletes and dedicated fans that just so happen to be women.
Joy Dixon, a second year business administration and pre-med student from Tampa, has been involved in sports for quite some time.
“A lot of people in my family play sports. It’s just a natural part of my life,” said Dixon. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan is also an avid watcher of tennis.
Isha Brown, a sophomore English student from Miami, is a dedicated fan of the Miami Heat and Miami Hurricanes basketball team. “It’s a loyalty thing. I grew up in Miami, you can’t just mark them off the map when they lose,” Brown said. Brown also reveals misconceptions that relate to sports and women. “In the past, a lot of people may have felt that girls couldn’t play certain sports. There are women in sports like tackle football and car racing. It’s been done.”
Sports fans also have their share of rituals as it relates to the season. Dixon thinks about the psyche of the Buccaneers when the team ventures north.
“When the players play in colder climates I hope that they are focused. I hope they won’t let the elements affect their play,” Dixon said.
Brown, a volleyball and basketball player in high school, doesn’t have any particular rituals as a sports fan. However, she developed a pre-game system for high school contests. The Miami native used the time before the game to center herself mentally. “As a player, I would meditate a little bit. Nothing out of the ordinary,” Brown said.
Many sports fans enjoy the programming that ESPN provides. Freshman Brittany Wade, a business administration student from Killeen, Texas watches Sportscenter when she can. Wade is primarily a basketball fan and plays the video game NBA Live on occasion. In high school, Wade was a member of the track and swim teams. While at the University, Wade continues her aquatic pursuits as a member of the FAMU women’s swim team.
Women have made strides in the sports world. Dixon said that a great deal has changed for women in sports. “It’s gotten better since Title IX. Girls are breaking into a lot of sports. They’ll sit down and know the statistics, players, ranking and everything.”
The appreciation of sports is not limited to a particular group or type of person. All are able to watch, partake and revel in the competition. Recreation leagues and intramurals provide an outlet for fans to compete. Sitting in front of the television or attending games are also ways to get involved. Or as Brown said: “Sports are a healthy way of life. Just because you’re a girl, you shouldn’t let it stop you. You shouldn’t let your gender stop you from doing what you want to do.” Contact John W. Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org