In honor of Super Bowl week, I decided to post about three influential women in male-dominated sports. I’m admittedly not a huge football fan, but I always have fun watching the Super Bowl with friends. After writing about Hilary Knight earlier this year, I couldn’t help but think about how insane it is that most sports are still dominated by men. In order to change this, people need to start watching professional women’s sports that are currently available, like the new NWHL. In order for these teams and leagues to be created for women, courageous female athletes had to fight for the right to play professionally. Women also have a much harder time landing any jobs in sports. When an influential female athlete like Danica Patrick comes along, she is often sexualized because that is the only way the predominantly male fan base will accept her. I chose three women who have changed the sports world for female athletes and fans.
Linda is changing the world of sports media for women. She works for ESPN and is one of the most capable people on the network. She is also unique because even though she is attractive, she is never featured on the “hottest women in sports” lists. She has maintained respect and continues to blaze the trail for women in sports media.
Although it is upsetting that Danica Patrick is just as frequently sexualized as she is featured as a strong, influential athlete, she is possibly the most influential woman in sports, ever. She is the female face of NASCAR and is now more of a household name than any man on the racing circuit. Her sexualization has also, at least, gotten the conversation started about why that is a negative aspect of her rise to fame and how future female athletes should be treated differently.
We have already crushed on Hilary Knight this year, but she is definitely one of the most influential women in sports today. She is arguably the most talented female hockey player, another sport traditionally dominated by men. She practiced with the Anaheim Ducks a few years ago and showed that she can keep up with some of the best male athletes on the ice. She also fought hard for a professional women’s hockey league and is playing in the first ever NWHL this year!