Is the playing field actually level?


Photo courtesy of Jena Zeiler.

The sun setting on North Turf Field at State High. This is to represent the “uneven” playing field of athletics. Cristen Barnett, a senior on the Temple Field Hockey team, spoke out about the cancelled Field Hockey game in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s telling us that these fireworks and setting up for a football game are more important than finishing a Division I contest,” Barnett says.

Johannah Lee, Staff Writer

On September 7th, 2019, a women’s division 1 field hockey game was canceled to allow a Kent State football game to be played on an entirely different field. 

Temple University’s field hockey team was set to play The University of Maine at 9 a.m. at Kent State University for a neutral site, non-conference game. When the clock hit zero in the fourth quarter, the score was 0-0. After a ten minutes overtime period, the score remained. As the teams prepared for a second overtime period, they were informed that the game had to end. The game was cut short due to fireworks being set up nearby for the noon Kent State Football game. Due to the score being 0-0, the game was considered a “no-contest scrimmage” that would not affect either team’s record.

This event has sparked a debate on the inequality in sports and actions toward athletes based on gender. It’s well-known that women do not receive equal pay for the same jobs; this is the same in athletics. One example is the US Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Teams. The Women’s National Team has recognized this and has been open about their journey to close the pay gap. According to SportingNews, “the USWNT team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, seeking better pay for women, who reportedly earned 38 percent of what their male counterparts make.” Regardless of wins and losses, regardless of different scores and records, the men’s national team receives a higher salary. It is simply unjust to pay men more for equal or even lesser performance.

Another example is the opportunities given to athletes. According to Entity, male athletes are given more funding and scholarships in the NCAA than women; “Male athletes still receive 55 percent of NCAA college athletic scholarships. This leaves only 45 percent of funding for women.” At Michigan State University, there are 12 women’s sports teams and only 11 men’s. Even with women having more teams, they still don’t receive equal scholarship money.

This type of event happening to a collegiate team also has a negative effect on student-athletes in high school. Seeing an occurrence like this can spark doubt in the minds of aspiring collegiate athletes.

In this day and age, gender equality in sports should not be an issue still being debated. Women have been fighting for equality for hundreds of years and significant changes have occurred. Even with this, they are still being discriminated against and treated as lesser than men. Changes have to be made.