{Empty title} | The Nation

Unfortunately, sexism in sports is most perpetuated by sports media: broadcast, print and especially talk radio. The popular daily ESPN program Pardon the Interruption, with reputable Washington Post sportswriters Wilbon and Kornheiser hardly mentions women sports, the WNBA is relatively ignored. When a women is mentioned, her beauty (or perceived lack thereof, as in misogynist sports radio) is the focus of the report, usually a reference to an attractive female athlete, a top male athlete's pretty girlfriend or an actress hot enough for Wilbon's hot tub. This sexist juvenile banter from married middle-aged men is accepted as a "boys will be boys" appeal to male viewership. Likewise, female athletic achievement is less than subtly dismissed as inferior to that of male athletes. At Wimbleton Roger Federer, competing to break Sampras's grand slam record of fourteen major titles, was roundly referred to as "the best player in the history of the game." Never mind that Stefanie Graf won twenty-two majors and that Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert won eighteen; they are defined as great female players. If majors are the standard for determining greatness, Federer needs to win twenty-three before being deemed the best player.