It’s A Man’s World Still.
It is Mother’s Day and you will see baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey leagues through their radio, television and marketing partners say hello to women and throw in a story or two about women in sports. But sports for the most part remains a good old boys network and most sports coverage in the United States is about men playing sports. For some reason, women cannot get much traction in establishing a league in any sport. There is the Women’s National Basketball Association which has been around since 1996 but there really are not many strongly developed and funded leagues in hockey or soccer. That seems to be a contradiction because the women’s national US soccer team is well supported and the US Women’s Olympic Hockey team does have a following.
There is a women’s hockey league, the Women’s National Hockey League with teams in Boston, Buffalo, Newark, New Jersey and Stamford, Connecticut. The women do receive a paycheck. The NHL’s Buffalo Sabres ownership bought the Buffalo women’s team and the Newark team has a marketing partnership with the New Jersey Devils. The Stamford team plays in an older rink with a very limited seating capacity. The league is professional in that players get some money. The Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which has nine teams including one in China, started in 2007. The league began playing players in 2017 with each team having a $100,000 salary cap. Various women’s soccer leagues have had a very difficult time. After the 1999 US Women’s World Cup championship, a league partially backed by cable TV owners started in 2001 but was out of business by 2003 because there was almost no interest in the league. Women’s Professional Soccer was in business for three years. The National Women’s Soccer League has been around since 2012. There are many girls youth leagues but isn’t much interest in professional woman leagues.
Could Becky Hammon help women get a higher spot on the sports map?