If there is something that people know about me, it is that I love baseball, especially the New York Mets. You can always find me at a baseball game, watching a baseball game on television and/or talking about baseball.
During the offseason, I'll most likely be keeping up with trade news, and talking to anybody willing to listen about said news while awaiting the sport's return.
As I wrote about in one of my other articles, Going To Spring Training Games Is The Best Way To Spend Your Spring Break, I spent my Spring Break in Florida seeing Spring Training games and I would not have wanted to spend my Spring Break any other way.
As an avid baseball fan, I knew it would be a great experience and I would be able to get up close to my favorite players.
Luckily for me, I was, in fact, able to have interacted with some of my favorite players in the league. However, not every interaction went exactly as I would have liked. During my trip, I attended a game where the Mets played the Nationals at Fitteam Ballpark at the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach, Florida.
Before the game was played, there were an array of players playing games on practice fields and I just happened to stumble upon a split-squad scrimmage game between the two teams.
I stayed back there for most of the game before heading inside the ballpark with the hope that I would be able to meet the players in this scrimmage after it was over. Just my luck, the players stayed after the scrimmage and not only conversed with but also autographed different things for the few fans who stayed until the very end.
While I was waiting for my chance to talk to the players that were left, I grabbed my baseball and my baseball cards to be sure I had them out and ready for the players to sign.
Out of nowhere, a man standing a few feet away from me comes over and says, "Sweetie, are you sure you have the right cards out? I'm sure you don't know exactly who these players are. Do you have the right team's cards? Do you know what team you were just watching?" With that, he chuckled, and so did the other men around him.
Yes, I could have proven him wrong, but I just stood there, didn't respond to the comment, and continued waiting to meet the players practically right in front of me. I am not sure if this interaction occurred because of my age, the fact that I am a female or a combination of both.
Though it seemed as if this was pure ignorance on this man's part, and that I was judged based off my appearance as a female, I'll never truly know his motives. The bottom line is I am tired of dealing with fellow sports fans like this one.
I have written about what it is like to be a female sports fan in one of my articles, The Life of A Female Sports Fan, and this anecdote sadly goes to show that the points in that article still stand to be true.
Sadly, the negative stigma surrounding female sports fans is incredibly unfortunate and could easily be reversed if men and even other women just listened and realized that someone's gender does not determine if they are a fan of a team, a player. or anything sports related or not.
Yes, I know that not all people speak to female sports fans condescendingly and though you may not have seen it or experienced it, it does happen far too often, and should not happen at all.
So, to all of you sports fans out there reading this: remember that age, gender, and other factors do not determine how much an individual enjoys sports.
The female sports fans out there, including myself, would greatly appreciate it.