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RealTalk x Razor Sports: Sexism and Racism in Athletics

Stories Gathered By Maeve Stauff ’21 Lead Sports Editor
Continuing the series from last month, the Sports section is providing a forum for students experiencing racism and sexism in athletics at Hopkins.
“I came to Hopkins in seventh grade and I did junior school sports for the first year. I did junior school soccer, junior school basketball, and that I did varsity track in the spring, which was cool. It was actually my first time running track, but it was something I kind of always wanted to try. The first year I had a great experience. The seniors and all the high schoolers were really welcoming and embraced me. The next year in eighth grade I did junior school soccer again, but then I tried out for basket- ball. Originally I just wanted to play at a higher level and I didn’t really mind if it was JV or varsity, but I ended up making the varsity team. It was really cool and I also got to play with my sister too. Throughout high school I played varsity soccer, varsity basketball, and varsity track.”

“A sexist experience I remember having was in seventh grade. The girls and boys basketball teams scrimmaged and there was a coach who was a boys’ basketball coach who was doing the clock and being a referee. The whole experience was not taken seriously at all. This basketball coach would add points to the girls side and call ridiculous plays and calls. He tried to give us a leg up. It just felt like we weren’t taken seriously at all. And I wanted to actually go out and play and compete, even if we lost by a bunch. But instead, the basketball coach made it kind of like a joke. That was honestly one of the most memorable experiences of a bad experience at Hopkins.”

“But in general, I find that girls sports aren’t taken as seriously or respected as much as the boys sports are. I can remember, during my freshman year, the girl’s soccer team was really good and we were doing really well. But, I still found that we didn’t get as much support as the boys soccer team. In general, of the sports I played, we might have had a similar record as the boys, or even a better record than the boys, and their games would be packed and we wouldn’t have as many students. I think a big thing on campus is that it sometimes just feels like people don’t care about the girl’s sports as much, or you have to work harder to get that respect.”

“In terms of race, so I think my sophomore year I was the only black person on the basketball team. And I wouldn’t say like, I’ve experienced racism, but I would say it’s just, it’s something that you notice. When you’re practicing or in a game and you’re just the only black person on your team. It is something I’m self-aware of when I’m playing. For instance, I’ll try to make sure that I’m really respectful to the ref and other coaches so I don’t get pulled into a stereotype of being overly aggressive or angry. But, I don’t think it affects how I play too much. I think in some ways it might inhibit me because I don’t feel that I’m able to play as freely or as emotionally as other people.”

“There is a lot of sexism in the basketball department. Originally, the Pancake Breakfast used to just be a guys basketball thing. They just never even considered to ask the girls. We’ve just had to advocate for things like that. Specifically, we had to advocate to get the same amount of gear as the guys’ team did.”

“Two years ago, when I was a sophomore, it was senior day for the guys and girls basketball teams. Usually for a senior day game, you play in the main court. But, because we were on the same day, we had to play in the middle court and it was a big deal because our only senior couldn’t play her last home game in the main court because the boys team got it. But, even though we didn’t get to play on the main court some of the boys on the boys team were really rude and dis- respectful about it. To make it even worse, we brought in a ton of balloons and went all out for senior day. And then, the boys ended up taking our balloons and using our setup for their senior day which was really bad.”

“At the end of the day, I want to see Hopkins increasing representation. For example, having my assistant basketball coach, Nae, on the team as an African- American female helps me out a lot. She is someone I can relate to on that level. I also want Hopkins to encourage having conversations with each other and within the athletic department. I do feel like a lot of the racism and sexism people experience at Hopkins comes from within the athletic department itself, which is an issue.” -Jasmine Simmons ’21

“Hopkins mainly prioritizes funding boys sports which is evident since they always receive new gear. Football recently got an automatic thrower. But, JV girls field hockey never had a real field to practice on and they were told to practice on the side of a grass field. Girls lacrosse always has half the balls than the boys do. Also, many times when there is a football or boys soccer game, the girls have to forfeit their practice time. For example, last year, JV field hockey didn’t have a field for their last home game and instead of giving them the turf, they were going to give it to the junior school boys for their scrimmage. But, the team emailed Rocco and some parents complained in order to get the turf field for their game.” -Anonymous Student in the 10th grade
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The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
     
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