Women in Sports; Soccer, Golf and the First Female NFL Coach

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Women in Sports

We examine women in sports and the ways in which progress had been made and efforts have been met with resistance, presented by Edward Medical Group.

This week we’re discussing women in sports… a topic that sort of feels like the calzone… in that, it’s been around for a long time, always played second fiddle to pizza but in reality, it’s just as good if not better and deserves respect.

But I want to start with soccer.


14 Men’s FIFA World Cups were held from 1934 to 1990 before the first official Women’s FIFA World Cup took place in 1991. 29 years later and the US Women’s National team is currently battling with its governing body, U.S. Soccer, for fair pay. It has gotten so nasty, US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro resigned in March of this year after court filings showed he attempted to argue the women’s players did not perform with equal skill, effort and responsibility as their male counterparts.

Which… I mean… come on?!? The women have won back to back World Cups and… I may not be the biggest soccer fan but… the only men’s player I can think of is Landon Donovan… who’s last game for the US team was 6 years ago.

Another example…

Men’s Only Golf Clubs

This place… Muirfield golf course… a treasure of Scotland… The rolling hills and picturesque views created in 1744. The hollowed grounds have hosted illustrious tournaments, including the British Open 16 times. The members… all men… at least for the first 275 years.

Thankfully, that changed in 2019. Muirfield now allows women members… but only after a threat from the organizers of the British Open.

Having said that, there are still men’s only clubs… including one essentially in our backyard… the Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook.

This is all to say… while it often feels like women are gaining ground in the battle for a fair and equal playing field, there are still stark remnants of sports being a “boys club”.

Fortunately all is not doom and gloom and there are areas of encouraging progress being made.

Women NFL Coaches

For instance, Jen Welter, in 2015, became the very first female coach in the NFL… granted it was part time, but she opened the door for other women. Just five years later and there are half a dozen full-time female coaches, including Katie Sowers, who won the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers last year.

Lastly, it only seems appropriate in a piece on women’s rights to note the contributions of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court Justice died this past week at the age of 87 after a lifetime of fighting for equality.

And lest we forget… odds are, she was working out harder than most of us just a year ago

Wow… Her ferocity, both in the weight room and in the court of law, was recognized in 2019 by the very US Women’s National team that continues to battle for equal treatment, with RBG written on the back of a jersey and sent to her after the “SheBelieves” match between the US and England.

And correct me if I’m wrong but, by starting our discussion with the US women’s national team… and folding back to the US women’s national team… I think we just created a calzone-d conversation on women in sports.

For more content, visit our Naperville Sports Weekly page.