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Coverage of Women’s Sports Must Increase

February 18, 2019

Inspiration, Wisdom, Activism for Women, Women in Sports and Female Athletes

Every time I receive my local paper newspaper with a large sports section, I count to see how many athletes in the section are females. No matter what week or month it is, there are far fewer female athletes gracing the pages. It always proves to me that women have a long way to go to receive equal media coverage in sports, business and life.

On February 14th, my “love” for equal coverage of women in sports propelled me to write the following letter to the editor of our newspaper to shine a light on the minimal coverage the media does for women in sports in our town. Although this letter was addressed to a print publication who also has an online presence, it is meant for our local television and radio media too – and honestly any media nationwide.

Sometimes its hard to speak the truth especially when you know you are facing a societal issue that could take years or even centuries to correct but if one person doesn’t share their opinion how will the opinion be known and the injustice and inequality brought to light? Here is my letter and act of equality today.

February 14, 2019

Dear Syracuse Post Standard Editor:

I am a long time subscriber to the Syracuse Post Standard, former columnist, 24 year supporter of women entrepreneurs and a Syracuse Women’s Basketball season ticket holder, so I had to finally write to ask why there is so much more coverage of men in sports than women? In today’s sports section there were 14 photos of Syracuse University men’s basketball team members and none of the women. Both teams had basketball games against North Carolina State.

Last night I sat court side witnessing the SU Women’s Basketball team play their heart and soul out against a competitive North Carolina team. In front of me sat 5 photographers taking photos. The women’s game was at home and played one hour before the men’s away game. Am I to believe the photos of the women’s game didn’t make it to the paper in time for publication or is there some other reason for a total lack of photos and much shortened recap of the game?

Did you know women make up 52% of the American population and 2.4 million girls play sports in the USA today? Over one-third of all female students in high school play sports. The number of women participating in university sports has tripled. Women compete in almost every sport. I saw this with my own eyes in October 2017 when I was invited by Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation to mentor amateur female athletes entering the professional world in sports and business. Each told me how poor coverage is of women in sports and how frustrating it is for them. These were multiple medal, elite amateur athletes and Para-athletes whose stories should be told.

When I live in a sports town like Syracuse, I assume the local print, television and radio media will equally cover men and women sports. There is no reason in our modern age that women in sports should not be covered equally to men’s sports. Women are as talented, competitive and deserving of the attention. If you don’t believe me, please show up at the February 25, 2019 for the Syracuse University vs. Notre Dame Basketball game and see for yourself.

Change must start somewhere. I hope all local Syracuse media make a decision from this date forward to show, promote and advertise men’s and women’s sporting games equally. I mean photo for photo and word for word. Everyone deserves it, families, schools, coaches, fans and especially female athletes.

P.S. I have some great photos from last night if you are interested in posting them now!

In entrepreneurial, athletic and feminist spirit,

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES, LLC & Women’s Athletic Network

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