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Sports and the Sexual Double Standard

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Even when female athletes become national heroes, as which happened with the U.S. soccer team, they receive second-class citizenship compared to male athletes. This isn’t just in pay or television exposure. It’s in working conditions. Whereas the U.S. men’s team flat refuses to play on artificial turf and grass is placed down when they play in turf stadiums, the women’s team is forced to play on turf during their victory tour. Or there at least until Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL on the practice field (which was actually grass but poorly maintained) and the conditions on the field in Honolulu were so bad that the team simply refused to play the match. This will probably end the women’s national team playing on turf, but it’s telling how deep sexism runs in the treatment of athletes.

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