Professional sports teams should be co-ed

By Ellie Winer

Basketball: Michael Jordan. Baseball: Jackie Robinson. Soccer: Lionel Messi. What do all of these famous players have in common? They will all go down in history as some of the best of their sport, and they’re all men. Society has loosened its reins on allowing women’s sports teams to even exist, but underlying sexism still exists. The solution? Co-ed professional teams.

One big reason teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other major sports organizations should allow teams to be co-ed is the attention. Because the majority of sports on television are male-led games, society is exposed to only male influence in sports. The only sports that seem to air women are volleyball, tennis, and gymnastics, which aren’t nearly as popular as the other three. Only in the Olympics do we see major sports being played by women. The intermingling men and women, there is more quality. Women also get the opportunities to be as successful and praised as the men in these industries.

On a team full of men, there is no room for much diversity in strengths. Though women are “whittled down to housewives with little strength,” they have the potential to be great, strong human beings. Women can be quick and agile or strong and aggressive, just like men. The American Psychological Association wrote an article entitled “Men and Women: No Big Difference.” Individually, everyone is different, but the article highlights that most of the key “differences” that come to mind when we think of men and women are just stereotypes.

Teams with both men and women offer different perspectives for the team. A team with a common mindset is being set up for failure. Also, adding women would increase diversity among teams, and help break down racist and prejudice stereotypes. For example, a team with men and women from all ethnicities would really open the public’s eyes. It would be a prime example of how anyone can work together.

Perhaps, one of the most progressive reasons for integrating teams is the inclusion of the LGBT+ community, specifically those who identify as transgender or nonbinary. For those who identify themselves as non-binary, they don’t conform to either male or female, but rather both. This makes it extremely difficult to live in society, as much of society’s norms revolve around male and female standards. A team that includes both male and female can allow anyone who doesn’t necessarily fit in into one category, fit into another. This would allow even more diversity. If these teams were professional, it would allow the LGBT+ community to have even more of a voice in the media, one that is desperately needed.

We can’t solve every sexist issue in the world, but we can still take steps to end it. As part of the world’s most-watched networks, big sports corporations need to step up. They can create co-ed teams, or simply allow women on to professional teams. Opening society’s eyes to sexist problems, and the idea that they can be stopped can help society move past sexism. This gives women a voice, and more power and success overall.