I sit in my dining hall for brunch on Sunday, laughing with my friends about all of the events that took place the night before.
I am sporting my favorite jersey, of my favorite player, on my favorite football team: Drew Brees quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, #9. My jersey is tattered and beat up after years of heartbreaks and triumphs in it, a jersey I rarely wear out in public because as soon as I do, the comments start.
"Name five other players that play for the Saints."
"A girl who genuinely likes football... okay."
"You probably just watch football because you think the players are hot."
Have you seen JJ Watt?
"Do you like the Saints for the uniforms."
Yes because all I know is fashion that's why I'm wearing this tattered jersey, my Sunday's best if you will.
In 2016, it shouldn't be hard to believe that a girl enjoys watching sports for the actual sport, and shouldn't have to justify that she knows what the sport involves. I shouldn't have to refrain from rolling my eyes when every time I say football is my favorite sport to a guy and a surprised look creeps across his face.
When asked who my favorite team is, I shouldn't have to be asked to name players on the team if you wouldn't ask the same questions you would ask a fellow male.
I'm frustrated and fed up about not being able to express my love for sports without all sorts of stereotypes and judgments being made about me immediately after. I grew up watching football. I went to my first college game when I lived in Georgia, the Valdosta State Bulldogs. My grandfathers played, my uncles played, and so did my older brother.
When we were kids I was his biggest fan at all of his games, even became a cheerleader for a short time. I remember having a favorite football team as early as second grade (if I remember correctly it was the Denver Broncos). At recess, while most girls were playing jump rope (which I was horrible at and still am), I wanted to be playing football. It was a game I loved since I was a kid but because of my gender that is automatically questionable.
I think it's time as a society that we stop putting people into boxes because of their gender and let people like what they want to like. It should not be weird for me, a female, to like football or vice versa. I want to stop being treated like I don't know what I am talking about or that I am some rare breed of woman because I like to play, watch, and talk about sports.
It's 2016, it's not groundbreaking people.