It’s not a hot take to say that women’s professional sports does not get a sliver of the credit they deserve compared to their male counterparts. Despite being beasts in their sports, women athletes are often looked over and ignored.
I even remember guys in high school making “WNBA jokes” where the punchline always plays off the fact that no one cares about nor watches anything to do with the WNBA.
“If you had to choose between your local WNBA team winning the finals and receiving $5, what would you spend your $5 on?”
Despite the eye-roll worthy (and sexist!) jokes, that kind of misogyny is engrained in so many people’s brains. One girl dad is trying to change that.
TikToker @sportyspotlight is working to “help #girldads [love] women’s pro sports” and “to better support their sporty daughters.”
In a recent video, the girl dad caught a sweet and poignant moment while just hanging out at home with his daughter, Lily. He took the moment as a great lesson to share with other girl dads who want to help support their daughter’s ambitions to be “sporty” and have their girls know their dad is invested in it too.
“To me this is what it's all about. It's subtle, but Lily just came by and as I was watching the WNBA highlights, sat down quietly and watched,” he says while filming her watch the TV. “No one said anything but that's okay. She was seeing Dad watch women play sports, and I know that means something to her and it means something to me too. I love seeing this.”
After the video caught on, several women commented on the post, noting that they had never realized how much their dad watching women’s sports would have meant to them.
“As a 30 y/o who’s dad always watched sports. You’ve just made me think I’ve never actually seen him watch women’s sports. Subtle change — huge impact,” one user wrote.
Another said, “My dad leaving work to watch my brother play baseball but never making a basketball game for me.”
The OP replied, “I’m sorry to hear that… ❤️”
Other users recalled their dads being supportive and making those subtle generational changes, breaking patriarchal norms, and showing their young daughters that women’s sports matter too.
“I am who I am today because my dad watched women sports 💛,” one user wrote.
One user pointed out that it’s important that this girl dad didn’t try to make the moment into some sort of lesson or even point it out. He just let it play out in the moment.
“I love not making it a verbal lesson, I need to remember to restrain saying anything and let them learn via observation,” they wrote.
Every dad should take a note from the OP’s book and work to change the ancient stereotypes that still exist about women in professional sports. Not only are women in sports overlooked, they often get paid less as well.
The average salary for a female WNBA player is $102,751 while the average salary for an NBA player was around $8.5 million dollars. Seems fair!
While some may argue that this giant wage gap is because the WNBA does not have nearly as many fans, however, with dads like this raising little girls to love women’s sports alongside them, maybe that can change in the future.