The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Sexism in Athletics

Where it Starts and Where it’s Seen
Brooke Ream
Gateway Regional High School’s Softball team, taken by ninth grader, Brooke Ream, 2024. Here at Gateway, Lady Gators feel supported.

Here at Gateway, people try to make the athletics department as inclusive and equal as possible. However, many players outside of our community have experienced or currently face struggles with gender bias.

A prominent example is Caitlin Clark, a great basketball player who is entering the WNBA. Despite her accomplishments, in the media, it is widely discussed and joked about how she’s most likely going to get paid the same as a working-class citizen. Where does this inequality come from? Do young athletes feel the same? 

Student Perspective

Ninth grader Amelia Aungst-Flick, who plays field hockey here at Gateway, when asked about this topic, was eager to respond with her prior and current experiences.

She shared, “One time [before Gateway] I was bullied for being one of a few girls on a boy and girl soccer team, for not being as good as most of the boys. But, I have overcome that part in my life, and I love playing the sports I play here at Gateway. Also, when they were recruiting people for the football team here at Gateway, the person announcing said boys and girls. Then I noticed that most of the boys started to laugh. Because they probably think girls can’t play football as well as boys. In my opinion, whatever sport boys play, girls can too.”

Original commentary by Amelia Aungst-Flick, a ninth grade athlete at Gateway Regional High School / Canva creation by Hazel Foster (Hazel Foster)

While she has faced and noticed sexism or unfair treatment in her past, it hasn’t held her back from playing the sports she loves now. 

Reporting on Research

It was also found that the reason behind there being not as many girls in many sports isn’t because of a lack of skill, but more so a fear of being judged or feeling out of place. According to Sexism in Sport, an article published by Women in Sport, it states:

Gender stereotyping is alive and kicking. Girls as young as 5 years old feel they don’t belong in sport. Only 30% of parents believe playing sports is very important for their daughters, compared with 41% of parents for their sons.”

Another article shares that it is important for both boys and girls to play because it builds self-esteem and helps reduce the possibility of anxiety and depression. This just goes to show that even in early years, boys being in sport is prioritized over girls. While some parents may not see it as important for their girls, it is very much equally important for both young boys and girls. 

My Own Experience

When I started here at Gateway, I was very interested in the sports aspect of being a Gator, and I was eager to join the swim team. But, when I went onto the website, I saw that there was only ‘Swimming Boys’ listed.

Athletics Website of GRHS, “Swimming Boys”

This gave me the impression that girls couldn’t participate in swimming here, but I was wrong. When you click on it and go to the roster, there are both boys and girls on the team.

When interviewing Brooke Ream, a ninth grader who plays field hockey and softball here at Gateway, she pointed out the same thing:



“The swim team is a winter sport in which both girls and boys participate. On Gateway’s website it states, “Swimming Boys,” which is completely incorrect as there are several girls on the team each year. It says nothing about a girls swim team, nor does it say anything about a team with both genders.”

So why is it called ‘Swimming Boys’ on the athletics site? According to Mr. Steiger, Gateway’s swim coach, he was told it was like that “across the board.”

Looking Ahead

When discussing sexism in sports with Mr. Kennedy, one of Gateway’s track coaches, he shared the things he’s noticed beyond high school saying, “Fortunately, I have not seen any difference between the same sport for boys and girls. I think that, in general, high schools do a better job at advocating for all of their population, and girls’ sports get the recognition that they most likely don’t get at the collegiate level or beyond.”

The bigger issues seem to develop more in college and the professional level, especially when money is involved. We consistently see female athletes make less money and gain less recognition than their male counterparts. While some attribute this to the popularity of the sport and the size of the fanbase, these differences are evident.

— Mr. Kennedy, Gateway Track Coach


It is also widely discussed and criticized how some uniforms for female sports are more for show than for actual practicality. Many people refer to them as more of a costume than a uniform. Comments like “Everything is showing,” “A costume born of patriarchal forces,” and “Concerning” were said about them as well. Most of this arose when Nike announced its new Team USA track gear. To put it lightly, it wasn’t widely accepted.

Many people believe they were designed to draw more attention. However, they also believe that if you want attention to a sport, revealing uniforms is not the answer.




Why do these little things matter? Well, even though something may start out as small, it’ll quickly expand into a larger issue. Simple differences in Little League expand to large inequalities in professional sports.

It goes way beyond just the insane pay differences women and men have in the athletic field. It includes uniforms, prioritization, watch time, reception, and so much more.

If we can locate where it starts, we as a society can prevent it from growing into a bigger issue than it already is, leading to our girls feeling more inclined to break into sports they were previously too afraid to.

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About the Contributor
Hazel Foster
Hazel Foster, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Hazel Foster, and I try to write mostly about universal topics and/or things that’d be interesting to the majority! I’m a freshman, but I’ve been here at Gateway since 7th grade, although this is my first year writing in THE CHOMP. I love animals, nature, decorating things, my boyfriend, Dance Moms, and writing!
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