Making a racquet in women's sportBy Jessica Milsome | Mar 22, 16 12:07 PM
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has caused controversy overnight ...
Another day, another tennis star making a racquet where they shouldn’t be.
Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore’s comment sparked controversy: “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.” World men’s No.1 Novak Djokovic only added fuel to the fire by adding that male tennis players should be awarded more because they attract more spectators than women’s games.
Serena Williams disagrees. “Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that,” she says.
“If I could tell you every day how many people say they don’t watch tennis unless they’re watching myself or my sister, I couldn’t even bring up that number.”
Even with strong ambassadors like Serena and Venus Williams, is it any wonder that young girls are finding less and less incentive to exercise and enjoy sport?
The Australian Government has recently launched the “Girls Make Your Move” campaign, which aims to encourage adolescent women to move more.
Their study found that girls are extremely self-conscious about both their skills and appearance when exercising and participating in team sports, particularly in the presence of men, which reflected an associated sense of being judged and assessed on their capability and appearance.
They also found that a lack of sports capability can lead to peer exclusion resulting in bullying and feelings of alienation, which created a belief that these girls were essentially unentitled to play.
In an age of social media and #fitspo, where so much value is placed on appearance and fitting in, it’s understandable why these thoughts are so prevalent among young girls. The campaign aims to encourage girls to make physical activity a natural part of their life and for it to be enjoyed, not endured.
It’s not hard to see how comments like that of Djokovic and Moore can have a damaging influence on the next generation.
If you don’t agree that there is an imbalance in sports, I encourage you to google both “Men’s tennis players” and “Women’s tennis players”.
On the men’s search, you’re greeted with images of guys in the midst of the game and
celebrating their victory, with not one mention of how hot they are until the 9th entry.
For the women’s search, you’re greeted with images of world ranking female sport stars accidentally exposing their underwear during a game and three stories on their sexiness on the first page alone.
Maybe Djokovic would see things differently if his Google search pulled up the same thing?
Image from Miami Open