Since I can remember, sports have always been a part of my life. My older brother played basketball for the local park rec leagues, AAU, and his schools growing up. My older cousins, football, and basketball as well. I tried a little bit of everything, tee-ball, flag football, tennis, basketball, cheerleading (yes, its a sport). My parents encouraged me to try any and everything that interested me until I found something I loved. Of course, my first love of acting would ultimately win out but not before sports could invade my heart and make it its permanent resting place. My love of sports, however, didn’t stop there. At four years old I cheerleaded for the “the red hot babydolls” where we’d perform at the half time of Lakers games at the forum. I remember a time when Mr. T was in the building and for some reason I was terrified of him. I refused to go out to perform until he was gone. It wasn’t until the PA announcer announced that he’d left the building that I then ran out on the court and took my place for the routine. I learned the game of football when I moved on to rec league cheer. I learned tennis when two black girls from not too far up the road from me burst onto the scene. I learned about golf when this half black, half Asian guy became of prodigy of sorts. Some sense of patriotism helped me discover soccer through the Olympic games. And eventually, I came to fall in love with the storied baseball team that occupies the place we call the ravine. Espn has been my night light since I can remember and my love for sports is as pure as any and knowledge of it is as deep as the blue sea.
In addition to helping me win debates with unsuspecting and far less superior opponents, my passion for sports would eventually prove valuable. I was tasked a couple of years ago to help build a brand identity deck for a high profile sports platform. A part of my job was to think of ways to help improve the platform, and one of the first things that came to mind was women. While we are a growing fan base across the four major leagues (basketball, football, baseball, hockey) at nearly half in each, we are underserved when it comes to content and general interest from the various associations. Heck, women who play the sports struggle to gain the support of the media and of course don’t have nearly the type of revenue shares as their male counterparts. There is very little focus on growing the fan bases and visibility of women’s sports just as there is very little focus on marketing directly to women sports fans. Which, in my opinion, is a travesty. We as women are the gatekeepers to it all, we are the consumers, the family planners. Enter any stadium or arena and we are just as likely to fill the stands as men. I spent the last two NFL playoff weekends with women who were calling out plays, shouting at the screen, and felt extreme heartbreak when their team didn’t win. (Go Rams, Sorry my Saints fan friends.) There is a place for us in sports both in between the lines, on the sidelines, in the front offices, as writers and media members, and as respected fans.
As we enjoy one of the biggest sporting events in our country today, I’ll sit alongside many women who will yell and scream and get upset at bad calls and root for their team to win. And after the game is over, I will get back to my fight for equality for women in general of course. But for now, I’ll start with a focus on a thing I love. Women deserve to be recognized for their achievement in sport and acknowledged for their celebration of it. I intend to create content and platforms that will do just that. We are capable of putting forth high-level quality games with the same skill sets that men possess. We are more than pretty faces to be rolled out on your screen for the male gaze and deserve to be taken seriously in our analysis as writers and reporters. And if you’ve ever been loved by a woman then you know that our love has no ends. From the mom who loads up her hybrid with gear and spends her Saturdays in gyms and on fields, to the bad ass female atheletes that are continuing to break down barriors. To the brains at the helm of major opporations, to the gear wearing, loud cheering, hard core female fans. May we enjoy our games, roots for our teams, champion our favorite players and in doing so may we never forget….women love sports too! Its time we started acting like it.
Enjoy the Super Bowl!!! Go Ram!! #RamsHouse