Imrem: U.S. soccer win reinforces women's sports role model status

  • From left, United States' Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, and Carli Lloyd celebrate after Lloyd scored her second goal of the match against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015.

    From left, United States' Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, and Carli Lloyd celebrate after Lloyd scored her second goal of the match against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015.

 
 
Posted7/8/2015 5:30 AM

In case you haven't noticed, women are everywhere.

No, not just as 51 percent of the population. Not just because a woman is running for president. Not just because a former Olympic men's decathlon champion just transitioned into a woman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I'm talking more about females being everywhere on the sports pages these days.

The most compelling Wimbledon tennis matchup this week -- though not the match itself -- was between the Williams sisters.

A 16-year-old French shortstop became the first female to be added to Major League Baseball's international registration list and eligible to sign with a pro team.

Last of all, and first of all at the moment, Carli Lloyd scored three quick goals to help the United States national soccer team win the women's World Cup.

These developments garnered attention with the NHL and NBA playoffs over, baseball droning on and football in the waiting room.

In the small picture, women's athletics served as a nice little diversion.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I didn't remember the big picture until reading a paragraph from Michelle Kaufman on miamiherald.com:

"Those women in baggy shorts and knee socks," wrote the mother of a teenage soccer-playing daughter, "are healthier role models than Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus or rail-thin fashion models."

To be honest, in my apathy toward women's sports, I missed the real benefit of the U.S. soccer success.

I did catch the final minutes of the championship match and was entertained by the postgame celebrating.

Sorry, though, women's athletics in general just aren't good enough to lure me away from men's sports.

That doesn't make them bad. Hopefully it doesn't make me bad. It's just that the twain hasn't met. Not yet anyway.

Many supporters of women's sports focus on the disparity and injustice that female athletes don't have the same career opportunities that males have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Take a few local men -- Jon Lester, Derrick Rose and Jay Cutler -- and they might be paid more in a year than all American women athletes are in a decade.

If that's an exaggeration, apologies, but it might not be.

One of the stories to come out of the women's soccer run is that for financial reasons two U.S. teammates have to live in with Jeff Van Gundy's family in Houston.

The former NBA coach/current TV analyst noted in the media during the past couple weeks how hard the women work and that they don't behave like they're entitled to anything.

Women aren't paid enough yet to be spoiled. They compete more for competition's sake like the Olympics are supposed to be.

Isn't that what we'd like to see from millionaire men?

Not that these world-level female athletes would mind having Jimmy Butler's new $90-million contract.

But that isn't realistic. Sustained public interest in their sport isn't at that point yet and won't be for a while.

So female athletes play for the love of the game and for other non-monetary fortunes.

Among those are pioneering women's athletics, which didn't start to grow in earnest until Title IX was passed a mere four decades ago.

More important than what gender equality did for women in sports is that college scholarships were provided for women to earn degrees and become doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers and coaches.

And, yes, to become soccer players who don't become wealthy but do become role models like Carli rather than Miley.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.