For years, I have held firm in the idea that sports just don’t matter.
People talk about sports all the time. My life is not devoid of fans, or players. The number of Little League Dads and Soccer Moms are probably up in the triple digits. The folks who ‘bleed Dodger blue’ are all over my life. My friends follow basketball, basketball, rugby, cricket. I actually played several games in an inter-faith softball league earlier this year; very badly, but I played.
But – sports, y’know? Doesn’t matter.
The Women’s World Cup has changed my mind. Days later, and I’m still hearing people talking about it all over. The amazing game, the terrific presence, the huge moment of reflecting that pay inequality in sports – and everywhere – is wrong.
More than anything else, the joy I hear in the voices of young women – the ones who play soccer, who play basketball, who would love to turn pro but know that it’s not a career choice. This is the moment where that could change.
While I tend to focus my attention on equal representation in politics, the Women’s World Cup has opened my eyes to the urgent need for equal representation in every category.
More than that – it’s that sports hold people’s attention and keeps their loyalties. While I am one of the seeming minority that feels all this is kinda silly, I know people who plan their lives around the season, the home games, the broadcasts. Sports is a kind of home, a tribe, an identity; my team. My Team. MY TEAM.
If we can keep all this attention that is focused on sports and continue the conversation about equality, I will tune in. I’m willing to change my mind. Maybe sports is the key to getting everyone engaged in conversation.
People talk about sports all the time; if we can just expand on that a little, we might be talking about a lot of things.