Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

By Asia Davis

Kinley Poole and Ronnisha Phillips engage in some friendly competition. Phillips has stolen the ball from Poole and forced him to play defense. Photo by Asia Davis

“You play like a girl!”

Is this an insult? Why is “playing like a girl” a bad thing? Women have come second to men in many categories since the beginning of time, including sports.

In time women have progressed, especially from when we could not watch the Olympics. Now women have their own leagues in sports such as women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, and even boxing. Yet still females face the stereotype that men are better. Though in some cases girls play right alongside them.

Sierra James is a junior at Loy Norrix, she’s also a female basketball player. She’s loved and had a passion for basketball ever since she was in the third grade.

“My dad really got me into it. He was just always playing. He bought me a basketball and I just fell in love with it.”
James has faced some adversity when it came to her playing basketball, especially when she would try to play with the boys, but according to her that all changed when they saw how sweet she was.

James’ coach seconds this opinion.

“Sierra is just as athletic as a guy, physically just as gifted as a male athlete, very strong, fast, and coordinated. She has the ability to play numerous sports, and is also very intelligent,” said Clinton Taylor of the Loy Norrix Women’s Varsity Basketball team.

Taylor has been coaching for a total of six years. In 2005 he saw the talent that at Loy Norrix and has been coaching ever since.

“I believe there’s different skill sets. Females are more attentive and easier to coach”, said Coach Taylor

What’s the difference between a men’s basketball player and a women’s basketball player? Why aren’t they all just classified as basketball players?

“I don’t see her as a “girls” player. I see her as a basketball player.”, said Coach Taylor

James has dreams of someday going to college on basketball scholarship and eventually playing for the Los Angeles Sparks.
However the chances of the second part happening are even slimmer in her case then it would be for a guy. It is harder to get recruited into the WNBA because there are less teams. There are less teams because there is not as much of a demand for the WNBA then there is for the NBA. Many female players play overseas professionally. And for the women who do make it here many still have to find jobs during the off season.

WNBA player do not have the same salaries as NBA players. They don’t get as many advertising contracts or their own shoe simply because no one knows who they are. Pop culture has not grown to fully embrace women in sports yet. America may embrace the idea of equality, but has not yet achieved it.