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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

This will be the fourth debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
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Since I was seven years old, I’ve spent my academic years looking forward to my three-week session at Capital Camps each summer. Despite any...

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In the midst of all of the protests seen on various college campuses across the country, it seems as though the Israel-Hamas war has become even...

You go girl

As 18.7 million people watched the end of the women’s NCAA championship game, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks emerged victorious against the Iowa Hawkeyes with a score of 87-75. The game, which took place on April 7, set the record for the most viewers of a college basketball game.

Women’s sports have been on the rise over the past few years, with increased fan engagement and participation. Deloitte Insights projects a 300% increase in revenue generated by women’s sports in 2024 from 2021, a predicted $1.28 billion, an all time high for the industry. History teacher Matt Cohen has been writing for Windsr, a website for WNBA fans.

“The base level is superstars are bringing attention and so especially with the college game, we’re seeing a ton of young players playing really, really well,” Cohen said. “When you have these women who are able to be in the spotlight like them, it’s really great to suddenly see people talking about them more like they do for any person in sports.”

The WNBA has been growing and is projected to expand to 16 teams by 2026. This year’s first draft pick, Caitlin Clark, has sold out professional games across the country. Some cities, including Washington D.C., have moved games against Clark’s team to larger stadiums to accommodate larger crowds. According to Director of Athletics Becky Silberman, “superstars” like Clark provide young girls with role models in athletic fields of interest.

“Growing up, I was like, ‘I want to be Michael Jordan,’” Silberman said. “I didn’t have any female athlete models, which subconsciously I think that’s a message that little girls are getting. Then they’re getting the idea ‘this isn’t for me, I can’t do this.’”

Silberman believes the growth of women’s sports is partly due to social media bringing attention to female athletics. She also finds that support from influential male athletes brings popularity to women’s sports. Cohen believes that the current growth of women’s sports in areas like basketball will have a “ripple effect” on the entire athletic industry.

In addition to basketball, female athletics have grown in sports like volleyball, softball and soccer. Last year, the University of Nebraska’s women’s volleyball team set the record for greatest attendance at a female sporting event at their game against Omaha. Additionally, the 2024 Summer Olympics are predicted to have an equal representation of female and male athletes, for the first time in the Olympics. As the only female on the varsity baseball team for three years, junior Shalvah Lazarus has an extra appreciation for female stars’ contributions to women’s sports.

“I think that [the baseball team] has given me perspective [on] how important it is for girls to have role models, like older, talented athletes that are also girls and have coaches that are really supportive of them, and have spaces where they feel like they’re not the only one,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus sees a “dropoff” of female athletics after the collegiate level. She thinks it is important to cultivate areas for women to continue to play sports at an advanced level, so the industry grows. Salary disparity remains an issue for female athletes, particularly on the professional level. For example, when Clark was signed to the Indiana Fever as the first pick of the WNBA draft, she signed with $338,056 over four years. The first pick of the NBA draft this year, Victor Wem- banyana, will make $55.1 million for four years.

“There’s a lot of room to grow in terms of women’s leagues and viewership and investment,” Lazarus said. “We should invest in women, pay women and hire women.”

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