As the byproduct of two athletes, my dad, a college basketball player, and my mom, a small-town track star, I'd like to think I was predestined to love sports. For as long as I can remember, I've played sports and over the years I've grown to love watching them as well. However, my interest in sports has always been met with surprise or disbelief from others, especially males. This is annoying.
We know the stereotypes associated with girls and sports: "Girls just root for the team wearing their favorite colors," "Girls root for whoever is the cutest on the court," "A girl's favorite team is whoever her crush's favorite team is," and so on. I don't know about y'all, but I don't spend prime homework time on a Sunday watching a mediocre team lose to a division rival because they're wearing pretty colors. I watch because like so many other fans, I'm eerily invested in this team of large men tackling each other over an oddly shaped ball.
Somehow, my investment in my teams is always challenged with questions to prove my authenticity as a fan. "Can you name five people on the team besides the quarterback?" "Do you know any position besides point guard?" "Who won the World Series last year?" I shouldn't be asked these questions first, because I'm not Google, and second because the only reason I'm being asked is because of my gender. Why should I prove my sports knowledge to someone else just because they're a male? I shouldn't and I won't.
As we move forward in society, I'm hoping that we shed gender stereotypes, especially when it comes to things as simple as watching sports. After all, I can talk to someone about why Odell Beckham Jr. is currently struggling, having caught only one touchdown in five games since his season started, while also talking about how freaking attractive the man is. Amazing.
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