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The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

Playing Sports and Making Strides

As Women’s History Month begins it is important to highlight all women’s contributions to ensuring equality. In this article I will be shining a light on some of the women who have made great strides in America: women in sports. Playing on a team improves confidence, team building, socialization, physical and mental health and academic performance. These experiences have been denied to women for far too long, but this has changed in recent years and continues to improve as athletes like Caitlyn Clark and Simon Biles draw attention to the skill and grit of women. They have faced less fan turnout, been taken less seriously, given fewer opportunities and consistent sexism, and have proven many of their doubters wrong. 

In this article, I will be outlining the many instances of sexism women in sports face and providing examples of perseverance and changes made in the name of equality.


Women athletes have consistently been paid less; from an economic standpoint that makes sense given they often draw in smaller crowds which is a separate issue regarding support for women. However, sometimes that is not the case and women are paid less in the name of sexism alone.

A survey by Just Women’s Sports found that  “…41% of U.S. sports fans intend to watch this year’s Women’s World Cup, in line with the 42% who said they watched the 2022 Men’s World Cup.” This survey also found that “85% of fans feel a greater or equal amount of pride in the women’s team compared to the men’s team.”

This means women were being watched at almost the same rate as the men’s team. However, for a very long time, they were being paid considerably less, as most women in sports are. However, the United States Women’s National Team took a stand against this injustice and filed a lawsuit that gained international attention in an attempt to ensure equal pay.

This lawsuit resulted in a law passed in Congress ensuring national teams are paid equally for their efforts, increased media attention for the team and called for a discussion among all women about the pay gap. The USWNT’s fight against sexism has made great progress in ensuring equality for themselves and others and has shown great perseverance in the name of adversity. 

Photo of USWNT taken from NPR.


As explained in a viral video posted by basketball player, Sedona Prince, while calling out the National College Athletic Association, women are still not awarded the same opportunities as men. Prince shared a video in which she showed the men’s weight room facilities in contrast to the women’s at the March Madness tournament.

The men’s weight room was the size of a large gym and had many different kinds of weights and machines for players to use in preparation for these games. However, the women’s weight room was not a weight room at all, but instead a rack of very light weights and a couple of yoga mats on a table.

A statement was made by the NCAA claiming that they understood these differences were unacceptable, but it was a matter of space in the facility vs. sex.

However, Prince went on in her video to show that there was bountiful space right next to the wright rack being unutilized and calling out the statement as an excuse and not working to make a change about it.

Prince went on to say, “If you’re not upset about this problem, then you are a part of it.”

The NCAA went on to apologize for “dropping the ball” and claimed to be working to improve their facilities for both genders. Once again demonstrating by calling out higher-ups and demanding a change is one of the many ways women can work together against sexism. Hopefully, more adequate facilities will be provided next time as women deserve equal opportunities to train to play their best and be the best they can regardless of gender.

Photo of women’s and men’s weight room difference taken off CBC.

Women in Sports at North Polk

Recently, the North Polk Girls Basketball team went to play in state at Wells Fargo Arena and had a great turnout. However, the turnout could have been reduced as some students seemed unable to control themselves in making sexist comments regarding players from both teams and women in general. 

Some of the many comments I heard during the games were “get that man off the court,” when speaking about any girl who was taller than the declarant, which was most of them given it is basketball and height is a desirable trait. I heard “women just can’t handle pressure,” after a missed free throw. “She’s ugly” was thrown around many times as if the player’s purpose were to be a model rather than play.

While many like to believe that North Polk embraces all students of all genders that is often not the case and was proven in the state game student section. North Polk students, this article is a call to do better or just stay home if you cannot be compelled to be kind. The North Polk Girls Basketball team, and all other teams, worked incredibly hard to make it where they were and should be appreciated for their efforts not torn down because of their sex.  If you cannot go to a girl’s sports game without being sexist, simply stay home.

Photo of North Polk Girls Basketball team taken from the North Polk CSD.


If a change is wanted, it must be demanded at both the professional levels and at North Polk. Women’s History Month’s purpose is to call attention to the trials and tribulations women face and women in sports often face the brunt of these issues. However, women in sports are also handed the platform and have the perseverance to make a change as demonstrated by this article. As women continue to combat these inequalities I urge you to work with them in making a change in any way possible.

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Addy Happ, Newspaper Editor

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