Reports of women athletes being doomed to second class citizenship come as no surprise, but a couple of recent incidents highlights just how obvious gender differences can be in sports.
ESPN reports about both Japanese and Australian Olympic teams that have placed male teams in first class while the women’s teams sat in economy. On the same flight to Europe, Japan’s world champion women’s soccer team sat in economy while the men’s team enjoyed business class seats. Women’s world player of the year, Homare Sawa, took offense and told Japanese media, “It should have been the other way around. Even just in terms of age we are senior.”
And in the case of Australia’s women’s basketball, the argument that the most successful team should sit in first class didn’t fly. The women’s team has the men’s team beat out, winning silver medals at the last 3 Olympic games but still had to watch the men sit up in business class while most of the women sat in the cheaper seats.
Incoming Basketball Australia Chief Executive Kristina Keneally had this to say, “In this day and age, there's just no excuse for men's and women's sporting teams to be treated differently when they both compete at the same world-class level. The disparity is even more glaring when you consider that our women's basketball team is one of the best in the world.”
What do you think of reports that male Olympic athletes are flying first class while women are treated to the economy seats?
Why do you think these kinds of inequities still exist in sports?