Women in Sports
During the second half of my summer, I interned with the Atlanta Blaze Major League Lacrosse Team. I was excited to take on this internship because I strongly feel as though women are still unfairly represented in sports industries. For example, just last year the USA Women’s Soccer Team took a stand for equal pay between men and women athletes. The USA Men’s Soccer Team gets paid per game, win or lose, while the women are on a salary based contract. The USA Women’s Soccer Team brought global awareness to the gender inequality that still exists in the professional sports industry today.
After interning with the Atlanta Blaze, I am happy to say that I was treated as an equal during my sports internship – for the most part. I was fortunate enough to not be treated as a lesser because I am a female in the sports industry. In fact, my employer recognized that because I was a female, I could be an even bigger asset to the team because they lacked female direction. For example, during my first week there, my boss pulled me aside and asked me to put together a clinic for girls. Until I became a part of the office, they did not have anyone who could run a clinic for girls. He expressed that this was something they had been wanting to do because they didn’t want to only have a boys clinic. They wanted both boys and girls involved with lacrosse. I loved that they came to me, even though I was a legal intern, with this opportunity because they were so eager to get girls involved, and they recognized that I would be the perfect person to plan these clinics.
The only time I did experience adversity because of my sex was when I was told I could not stand on the sidelines at the games. The other interns, who were all male, were never told that they could not stand on the sidelines. Although I can’t say for sure, my theory is that the owner was worried that if a woman stood on the sidelines, the players would be distracted. I stood on the sidelines the first game, and this was never an issue, but maybe something happened that I am not aware of. However, I think either all of the interns should be able to stand on the sideline, or none at all. It shouldn’t be the woman’s problem if the men can’t stay focused on their game.
All in all, the Blaze took advantage of the fact that I am a female instead of writing me off or giving me lesser work. My biggest fear going into the internship was that I would be told I couldn’t handle certain things because of my sex, but I never once was told that I couldn’t do something sports related because I was a female. In fact, they welcomed the fact that I was a woman and made me feel welcome and part of the team. Hopefully one day, all sports teams or sports related industries will accomplish this fairness as well with collegiality and pay.